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This volume contains a selection from the Proceedings 
of the Massachusetts Historical Society, beginning 
with the stated monthly meeting in January, 1866, and 
ending with the stated monthly meeting in March, 1867. 

The original manuscripts used in the preparation of 
the Memoir of Mr. Quincy, and the engraved portrait, 
included in this volume, were generously furnished by 
his daughter, Eliza Susan Quincy. The engraving may 
be regarded as a good representation of the portrait 
of Mr. Quincy, painted by Wight, and presented to this 
Society by the "Class of 1829" of Harvard College; 
though the engraver was chiefly guided by excellent 
daguerrotypes from life, — the same from which the 
painter also had derived assistance. 

A portrait of the distinguished Honorary Member 
of the Society, George Peabody, LL.D., is placed at 
the beginning of this volume, — the first volume pub- 
lished at the charge of the " Peabody Fund." The pro- 
ceedings of the meeting at which the letter of Mr. 



Peabody was announced, presenting to the Society the 
sum of Twenty Thousand Dollars, (as a fund for print- 
ing the " Proceedings," and for preserving the Histori- 
cal Portraits belonging to the Society,) and the resolu- 
tions and remarks thereupon, may be seen on page 438, 
under the date of January, 1867. * 

Boston, November 1, 1867. 

C. D., 

For the Committee of Publication. 



Prefatory Note v 

Officers elected April, 1867 xi 

Eesident Members xii 

Honorary and Corresponding Members xiv 

Members Deceased xvi 


Announcement by the President of the Death of Col. James 

D. Graham and of Mr. Israel K. Tefft 3 

Account of an Early Map of Boston 5 

Letter of Rufus King to Governor Bowdoin 7 

Letter of Rufus King to Elbridge Gerry ....... 9 

Paper on the Origin, Organization, and Influence of the Towns 

of New England, by Prof. Joel Parker 14 


Letters of the Marquis of Buckingham to Sir John Temple . 69 


Memoir of Josiah Quincy, by James Walker, D.D 83 


Commemoration of Jar ed Sparks . 157 

Remarks of the President 157 

Resolutions submitted by the Standing Committee . . . 162 

Remarks of Hon. John C. Gray 162 

Prof. Theophilus Parsons 163 

Hon. Charles G. Loring 168 

Col. Thomas Aspinwall 1"4 





Report of the Standing Committee 179 

Report of the Treasurer 180 

Report of the Librarian 183 

System of Classification of Pamphlets . : . . ... . 188 

Report of the Cabinet-keeper 189 

List of Officers elected 190 

Letter of Hon. Hugh Blair Grigsby 191 


Paper on the Early Painters and Engravers of New England, 

by William H. Whitmore 197 

Cromwellian Settlement of Ireland . . 217 

Yeas and Nays on Gen. Conway's Motion, 1782 218 


Departure of the Recording Secretary for Europe .... 226 

Appointment of Delegates to the Archaeological Congress . . 228 
Announcement by the President of the Death of Lieut. -Gen. 

Winfield Scott 229 

Letter of Gen. Scott to the President, April 22, 1862 ... 233 

Resolution on the Death of Gen. Scott 234 

Remarks of Col. Thomas Aspinwall 234 

Announcement by the President of the Death of Bishop Bur- 
gess, of Maine, and Resolution adopted by the Society . 242 


Letter of William C. Todd on Fort Venango 248 

Letter of Mrs. Mary C. Sparks 250 

Announcement by the President of the Death of Hon. Lewis 

Cass 250 

Paper on the Rank of Students in Harvard College, by Mr. 

William G. Brooks 252 




Letter from Lord St. Germans to the President 255 

Rev. John Wheelwright's Fast-day Sermon, January, 1636 . 256 
Announcement by the President of the death of Thomas H. 

Webb, M.D., and of George R. Russell, LL.D. ... 274 

Resolution adopted by the Society 275 

Memoir of Joseph Willaro^, Esq., communicated by Rev. 

Charles Brooks 275 

History of Bacon's and Ingram's Rebellion 299 

Letter of Charles Deane, Esq., to the President .... 343 


Deposition relating to the Sword of Warren 348 

Paper on the Device of the Seal of the United States, by Col. 

William Barton 351 


Letter of Benj. B. French, Esq., to the President 353 

Announcement by the President of the Death of Rev. Francis 

L. Hawks, D.D 355 


Remarks by Mr. Folsom on the old hymn, "Dies Iras" . . 358 

Peabody Museum of American Archaeology 359 

Remarks of Rev. James Walker, D.D 359 

Rev. Edward E. Hale 360 

Letter and Instrument of Gift of Mr. Peabody 364 


Announcement by the President of the death of Rev. William 

Jenks, D.D 369 

Resolution adopted by the Society 372 

Remarks of Rev. Chandler Robbins, D.D 372 

Letter of J. Hammond Trumbull, Esq., on the Indian name 

"Shawmut" 376 

Vindication of the memory of Gen. John Sullivan, by Thomas 

C Amory, Esq 380 





Letter of George Peabody, Esq., accompanying his donation to 

the Society 438 

Kesolutions of the Society 438 

Kemarks of Rev. George E. Ellis, D.D 439 

Col. Thomas Aspinwall 444 

Hon. James Savage . *: . . . . . 446 

Hon. Richard Fro*thingham .... 446 

Leverett Saltonstall, Esq 448 

Adoption of the Resolutions 449 

Circular from the Executive Committee of the Peabody Museum 

of American Archaeology 449 

Aboriginal Relics belonging to the Society to be deposited in 

the Peabody Museum 451 

Last Will of Capt. John Smith 451 

Paper on George Herbert and John Cotton, by Rev. Robert C. 

Waterston 457 


Library of Col. Peter Force 463 

Major Andre's portrait of Miss Shippen 464 

11 Monumental Memorials of the Appleton Family," by John 

Appleton, M.D 466 


Communication respecting the Seal of the Council for New 

England, by Charles Deane, Esq 469 

Donations by Rev. Charles Burroughs, D.D . 472 

Letter of Gen. Washington to Jonathan Williams .... 473 
Journal of the Expedition from New London to Woodstock, 

1699 .473 

Destruction of Deerfield, 1704 478 

Accession of Queen Anne 483 

Lines from Nicholas Noyes to Cotton Mather 484 

News Letters written by John Campbell, 1703 485 

Rescript from Queen Anne 501 

Speeches at the Inauguration of President Leverett in 1708 . 502 

Index 511 




Elected April 11, 1867. 




HON. JOHN C. GRAY, LL.D Boston. 

CHARLES DEANE, A.M Cambridge. 

(ftomgponbiitij Hjemiarg. 




Hianbrng Committee. 

REY. GEORGE E. ELLIS, D.D Charlestown. 

HENRY W. TORREY, A.M Cambridge. 








Hon. James Savage, LL.D. 
Kev. Joseph B. Felt, LL.D. 
George Ticknor, LL.D. 
Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, LL.D. 
Hon. Charles Francis Adams, LL.D. 
Rev. George E. Ellis, D.D. 
Hon. John C. Gray, LL.D. 
Rev. Nathaniel L. Frothingham, D.D. 
Hon. George S. Hillard, LL.D. 
Hon. William Minot, A.M. 
Hon. Peleg W. Chandler, A.M. 
Rev. George W. Blagden, D.D. 
Rev. Lucius R. Paige, D.D. 
Hon. Solomon Lincoln, A.M. 
Rev. Chandler Robbins, D.D. 
Francis Bowen, A.M. 
John Langdon Sibley, A.M. 
Hon. Richard Frothingham, A.M. 
Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, M.D. 
Henry Wheatland, M.D. 
Hon. David Sears, A.M. 
Charles Deane, A.M. 
Francis Parkman, A.B. 
Ellis Ames, A.M. 
Hon. John H. Clifford, LL.D. 
Hon. William Brigham, A.M. 
Hon. Emory Washburn, LL.D. 
Rev. Samuel K. Lothrop, D.D. 
Rev. William Newell, D.D. 

Hon. Lorenzo Sabine, A.M. 
Col. Thomas Aspinwall, A.M. 
Rev. John S. Barry, A.M. 
John A. Lowell, LL.D. 
John Lothrop Motley, LL.D. 
Hon. Charles H. Warren, A.M. 
Rev. James Walker, D.D. 
Rev. Edmund H. Sears, A.M. 
Oliver Wendell Holmes, M.D. 
Henry W. Longfellow, LL.D. 
Rev. Frederic H. Hedge, D.D. 
Jacob Bigelow, LL.D. 
Hon. George T. Davis, A.B. 
Hon. Stephen Salisbury, A.M. 
Henry Austin Whitney, A.M. 
Rev. William S. Bartlet, A.M. 
Josiah G. Holland, M.D. 
Rev. Charles Brooks, AM. 
Leverett Saltonstall, A.M. 
Rev. Alonzo H. Quint, D.D. 
Samuel F. Haven, A.M. 
Hon. Richard H. Dana, jun., A.M. 
Hon. Levi Lincoln, LL.D. 
Joseph Palmer, M.D. 
Hon. George Tyler Bigelow, LL.D. 
Hon. Caleb Cushing, LL.D. 
Henry W. Torrey, A.M. 
Hon. Joel Parker, LL.D. 
Williams Latham, A.B. 



Hon. Charles Hudson, A.M. 
Rev. Robert C. Waterston, A.M. 
Hon. Theophilus Parsons, LL.D. 
Thomas C. Amory, A.M. 
Hon. Benjamin F. Thomas, LL.D. 
Samuel A. Green, M.D. 
Hon. James M. Robbing. 
Charles Eliot Norton, A.M. 
Hon. John J. Babson. 
Robert Bennett Forbes, Esq. 
Rev. Edward E. Hale, A.M. 
Rev. Andrew P. Peabody, D.D. 
Hon. Theron Metealf, LL.D. 
William G. Brooks, Esq. 
Hon. Horace Gray, jun., A.M. 
Charles Folsom, A.M. 
Amos A. Lawrence, A.M. 
Rev. Edwards A. Park, D.D. 
Charles Sprague, A.M. 
Rev. William A. Stearns, D.D. 

Hon. Francis E. Parker, A.B. 

William H. Whitmore, A.M. 

George B. Emerson, LL.D. 

James R. Lowell, A.M. 

Rev. Nicholas Hoppin, D.D. 

Nathaniel Thayer, Esq. 

John G. Whittier, A.M. 

Erastus B. Bigelow, A.M. 

William C. Endicott, A.B. 

Hon. Eben. Rockwood Hoar, LL.D. 

Hon. Seth Ames, A.M. 

Josiah P. Quincy, A.M. 

Samuel Eliot, LL.D. 

George Bemis, A.M. 

John Foster Kirk, Esq. 

Henry G. Denny, A.M. 

Rev. Thomas Hill, D.D. 

Charles C. Smith, Esq. 

Hon. George S. Hale, A.B. 




Hon. Gulian 0. Verplanck, LL.D. 

Don Manuel Moreno, M.D. 

Rev. John Hutchinson. 

M. Ce\sar Moreau. 

Erastus Smith, Esq. 

Joshua Francis Fisher, A.M. 

T. A. Moerenhout, Esq. 

Usher Parsons, M.D. 

Hon. George Folsom, A.M. 

Rev. Luther Halsey, D.D. 

Rev. Leonard Bacon, D.D. 

M. Henri Ternaux-Compans. 

George Catlin, Esq. 

John Winthrop, Esq. 

Dom Joaquim Jose da Costa de 

Hon. David L. Swain, LL.D. 
Hon. James M. Wayne, LL.D. 
Rt. Rev. William B. Stevens, D.D. 
Henry Black, LL.D., C.B. 
Rev. Charles Burroughs, D.D. 
Richard Almack, F.S.A. 
Robert Lemon, F.S.A. 
John Romeyne Brodhead, A.M. 
Major E. B. Jarvis. 

E. George Squier, Esq. 

Miss Frances Manwaring Caulkins. 

Thomas Donaldson, Esq. 

Hon. George Bancroft, LL.D. 

J. Hammond Trumbull, Esq. 

Robert Bigsby, LL.D. 

James Ricker, jun., Esq. 

Henry Stevens, Esq. 

Cyrus Eaton, A.M. 

Hon. William Willis, A.M. 

Frederick Griffin, Esq. 

John Carter Brown, A.M. 

Rev. William S. Southgate. 

Hon. Samuel G. Arnold, A.M. 

John Gilmary Shea, Esq. 

James Lenox, Esq. 

Rt. Rev. the Bishop of Oxford, D.D. 

Winthrop Sargent, A.M. 

Earl Stanhope, D.C.L. 

Hon. William C. Rives, LL.D. 

Hon. Peter Force. 

Hon. John R. Bartlett, A.M. 

G. P. Faribault, Esq. 

William Paver, Esq. 




Frangois Pierre Guillaume Guizot, 

Hon. Edward Coles. 
Baron Charles Dupin. 
M. Francois A. A. Mignet. 
Count Adolphe de Circourt. 
Hon. Horace Binney, LL.D. 
The Very Kev. Henry Hart Milman, 

William C. Bryant, LL.D. 
Count Agenor de Gasparin. 
Hon. Millard Fillmore, LL.D. 
George Grote, D.C.L. 
M. EdouardRene Lefebre Laboulaye. 
Major-General John A. Dix. 
Hon. William H. Seward, LL.D. 
George Peabody, LL.D. 
Leopold von Ranke. 
James Anthony Froude, M.A. 

Rev. William B. Sprague, D.D. 
Rev. Samuel Osgood, D.D. 
William Durrant Cooper, F.S.A. 
E. B. O'Callaghan, M.D. 
Buckingham Smith, Esq. 
Benjamin F. French, Esq. 
Francis Lieber, LL.D. 
William H. Trescot, Esq. 
Dr. J. G. Kohl. 

Hon. Albert G. Greene. 

Hon. John P. Kennedy, LL.D. 

Hon. George P. Marsh, LL.D. 

Benjamin R. Winthrop, Esq. 

J. Carson Brevoort, Esq. 

The Ven. Lord Arthur Hervey. 

Horatio Gates Somerby, Esq. 

George H. Moore, Esq. 

Hon. William R. Staples, A.M. 

Hon. Hugh Blair Grigsby, LL.D. 

W. Noel Sainsbury, Esq. 

S. Austin Allibone, LL.D. 

William Winthrop, Esq. 

Henry T. Parker, A.M. 

Rev. Leonard Woods, D.D. 

Benson J. Lossing, Esq. 

Lyman C. Draper, Esq. 

George Washington Greene, A.M. 

Rev. William G. Eliot, D.D. 

Henry B. Dawson, Esq. 

Prof. Goldwin Smith, LL.D. 

John Forster, Esq. 

George T. Curtis, A.B. 

Evert A. Duyckinck, Esq. 

James Parton, Esq. 

William V. Wells, Esq. 

Gen. John Meredith Read, jun. 

Joseph Jackson Howard, LL.D. 

Brantz Mayer, Esq. 

John Bruce, Esq., F.S.A. 

Rev. Theodore D wight Woolsey, D.D. 


Resident, Honorary, and Corresponding Members who have died since the 
publication of the last volume of Proceedings, June 1, 1866 ; or of 
whose death information has been received since that date : — 

Thomas H. Webb, M.D. 
George R. Russell, LL.D. 
Rev. William Jenks, D.D. 


Lucius M. Sargent, A.M. 
Hon. Charles G. Loring, LL.D. 
Hon. John A. Andrew, LL.D. 

Honorary and Corresponding. 

Hon. Lewis Cass, LL.D. 
Theodore Dwight, A.M 
Rev. Francis L. Hawks, D.D. 

Hon. Elijah Hayward. 

Sir Archibald Alison, Bart., D.C.L. 




A STATED monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day, Thursday, Jan. 11, at eleven o'clock; 
the President, the Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, in the 

The Librarian announced donations from the American 
Philosophical Society ; the Boston Society of Natural 
History ; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ; 
the Library of Congress ; the New-England Historic- 
Genealogical Society; the New-England Loyal Publi- 
cation Society ; the New-Hampshire Historical Society ; 
the Publishers of the " Eight Way" ; Mr. F. W. Ballard ; 
Edward Breck, Esq. ; Henry B. Dawson, Esq. ; Mr. John 
W. Dean ; Evert A. Duyckinck, Esq. ; Mr. S. D. Hos- 
mer; Benj. P. Johnson, Esq.; Mr. James S. Loring; 
Rev. Elias Nason; Captain Charlemagne Tower; Wm. 
W. Wheildon, Esq. ; Hon. William Willis ; Mrs. Joseph 
E. Worcester ; and from Messrs. Bartlet, Green, Law- 


rence, Metcalf, C. Eobbins, E. H. Sears, and Winthrop, 
of the Society. 

The Corresponding Secretary read a letter of accept- 
ance from 'Evert A. Duyckinck, Esq., of New York, who 
had been elected a Corresponding Member. Mr. Duyck- 
inck, in the same communication, stated that he had 
sent to the Society a copy of the new edition of his 
" Cyclopaedia of American Literature." 

Whereupon it was Voted, That the thanks of the 
Society be presented to Mr. Duyckinck for this gift. 

The President read a letter from Stephen H. Bullard, 
Esq., the Executor under the will of the late Miss Eliza- 
beth Belknap, stating that, at the request of her niece, 
Mrs. Jane Marcou, he had sent as a gift to the Society a 
portrait of her grandfather, the late Dr. Jeremy Belknap. 

Mr. Folsom inquired if the portrait was supposed to 
have been painted during the lifetime of Dr. Belknap ; 
and called attention to the fact, that among the volumes 
introduced by the painter into the picture was the 
second volume of the "American Biography," which 
was not published until after Dr. Belknap's death. The 
name of the artist was also on the back of another 
book, thus, "Painted by H. Sargent, 1798." 

Dr. Ellis said he well remembered the portrait, having 
often seen it hanging in one of the apartments in the 
house of the late John Belknap. He had always under- 
stood that the picture was in process of painting when 
Dr. Belknap died. 

Mr. Sibley suggested that some light might be thrown 
upon the question as to the time when this portrait was 
painted, or whether it was an original picture, by ascer- 



taining whence came the portrait of Dr. Belknap, now 
hanging in the Librarian's room, which strongly resem- 
bles this. 

Mr. Savage said he well recollected the appearance 
of Dr. Belknap, and regarded this portrait as an ex- 
cellent likeness. 

Mr. Folsom expressed the hope that the Society might 
revive its intention of publishing, from Dr. Belknap's 
manuscripts in the possession of the Society, a memorial 
volume of him ; and he took occasion to speak of Dr. 
Belknap as one of the best writers our country had 

Dr. Ellis hoped the Society would print a volume of 
Proceedings, prepared from its earliest records, embody- 
ing in it such historical memorials from the recollection 
of the older surviving members as can be collected, 
which together would serve to secure to us the early 
history of the Society. 

In view of the preparation of such a volume, which 
for some time had been under contemplation, Dr. Ellis, 
on the motion of Dr. Bobbins, was added to the Com- 
mittee on the publication of the Proceedings, with special 
reference to this subject. 

The thanks of the Society were voted to Mrs. Marcou, 
for the valuable present of the portrait of her grand- 
father, Dr. Belknap. 

The President spoke of the death of three of the 
Corresponding Members of the Society as follows : — 

Colonel James D. Graham, of the United-States Corps of 
Engineers, died suddenly in this city, on the 28th of December 
last. He had been one of our Corresponding Members for 


twenty years, and during the last eighteen months had at- 
tended several of our meetings. He was a native of Virginia, 
but had remained loyal to the Union during the late rebellion ; 
and, though, too infirm to take the field, had rendered valuable 
services to the country in connection with the harbor im- 
provements of the Atlantic coast. For the last year and a 
half, he had been in charge of the work for the preservation of 
Boston Harbor, and in that relation had won the special con- 
fidence and respect of our city authorities. His services to 
the country, in running out the North-eastern boundary under 
the Ashburton and Webster Treaty, were of the highest value. 
Stationed for many years on the Lakes, he took a leading part 
in the transactions of the Chicago Historical Society ; and his 
acquirements and accomplishments had given him an enviable 
position among scientific men in all parts of the land. 

In San Francisco, on the 18th of December, died the Hon. 
Matthew Hall McAllister, who had also been for many years 
on the roll of our Corresponding Members. He was a native 
of Georgia, and in 1827 was selected by President John 
Quincy Adams as the District Attorney of the United 
States for the State of Georgia, at a moment when the con- 
troversy between that State and the general Government, in 
regard to the Indian Lands, required a man of peculiar fear- 
lessness and firmness. Mr. McAllister was true to the Union 
then, as he was afterwards in the days of South Carolina 
Nullification. In 1855 he was sent to California as the judge 
of the United-States Circuit Court ; and he devoted himself, 
with untiring industry, to the arduous duties of this office. 
The failure of his health prevented his taking any part in the 
more recent affairs of the country, and he had been compelled 
to retire from all public service several years before his 

The death of still another of our Corresponding Members 
has been brought to my knowledge within a few days past. 
Mr. Israel K. Tefft, of Savannah, Georgia, died a few years 


since, while our relations to the Southern States were too 
much disturbed to allow of our hearing what was occurring 
within their borders from day to day. Mr. Tefft was well 
known as the owner of a very large and interesting collec- 
tion of historical autograph letters, which he had procured 
at great cost, and arranged with great care, and which has 
probably few equals in our country.* 

In connection with the notice of the death of Mr. 
Tefft, the President read a letter from Mr. M. P. Ken- 
nard, of this city, stating that Mrs. Tefft was desirous of 
disposing of the large and valuable collection of auto- 
graphs left by her husband, either to the Massachusetts 
Historical Society or to the Boston Athenaeum ; that the 
collection numbers upwards of thirty-five thousand ; that 
Mrs. Tefft nominally valued them at from §15,000 to 
§20,000 ; that she was now, in her old age, left well- 
nigh penniless, from the effects of the war. 

The President stated that he understood that the 
collection, if bought entire, could be purchased for 

Mr. Deane exhibited an early map of the harbor of 
Boston, in a mutilated condition. The date is wanting, 
but he thought it the original from which subsequent 
maps of the harbor had been made for a number of 
years. It was called " A New Suruey of the Harbour of 
Boston in S"ew England. — Done by order of the Prin- 

* At a meeting of the Georgia Historical Society, held July 14th, 1862, resolutions of 
respect to the memory of I. K. Tefft, Esq., its first and only Corresponding Secretary, 
and one ofits earliest and most devoted friends and patrons, were presented and passed. 
It is stated that he died on the 30th of June, 1862. He was born in the town of 
Smithfield, Rhode Island, on the 12th of February, 1794. He lost his father at the age 
of four years. He received his academic education in Boston. In 1816 he went to 
Savannah; and in 1821 became editor and proprietor of the "Savannah Georgian" 
newspaper, jointly with Henry James Finn. He was elected Cashier of the Bank of 
the State of Georgia in 1848, and filled that position to the time of his decease. — Eds. 


cipall Officers and Coniissioners of His Ma fes Navy, and 
sold by George Grierson at the two bibles in Essex 
Street, Dublin." Mr. Deane conjectured its date to be 
somewhere from 1730 to 1740. He remarked that the 
earliest well-defined map of Boston Harbor, with the 
islands delineated, which had come under his obser- 
vation, was the one in a corner of the map of New 
England, in Neal's "History of New England," pub- 
lished in 1720. 

Dr. Robbins exhibited, and presented to the Society, a 
broadside proclamation of President Washington, dated 
January 1st, 1795, appointing Thursday, February 19th, 
as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, "for the 
manifold and signal mercies which distinguish pur lot 
as a nation," in " the suppression of the late insurrec- 
tion," &c. 

Mrs. Worcester, of Cambridge, presented to the 
Society, through Mr. Folsom, a number of volumes of 
the Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Geographical 
Society of London, to complete the series to the pre- 
sent time ; the former volumes having been given last 
year by her husband, our late esteemed member, Dr. 

Mr. Folsom also called the attention of members to* 
the large number of volumes upon the table, relating 
to the history of the late Rebellion, which had been 
selected for the Society by Dr. Green, and presented by 
our associate, Mr. Lawrence. 

The thanks of the Society were voted to Mr. Lawrence, 
for this valuable addition to the Library of the Society ; 
and to Dr. Green, for his agency in procuring the books. 


The thanks of the Society were also presented to Mrs. 
Worcester for the volumes presented by her. 

The President communicated a number of Confederate 
bonds, which had been sent to him for the Society by 
Major-General Benham, of the United-States Army. 

The President read a paper, which had been handed 
to him by Mr. Deane, purporting to be a list of the 
authors of the lives in Sanderson's " Biography of the 
Signers of the Declaration of Independence." The list 
appears to have been published in the " Daily Cincinnati 
Gazette," of August 11th, 1827, which paper credits it 
to the " New-York Times." 

The President read the following letters from the 
Hon. Rufus King, then a member of the Congress of 
the Confederation, from Massachusetts, — one addressed 
to " His Excellency Gov!" Bowdoin," and one to Elb ridge 
Gerry, Mr. King's colleague in the same Congress : — 

Riifus King to Governor Bowdoin. 

New York, May 18, 1786. 

Sir, — The revival of the Newfoundland bill in the late session of 
Parliament, and the renewal of the Act vesting in the King in Council 
the regulation of the intercourse between the United States and his 
dominions, is satisfactory evidence to every impartial man, that Great 
Britain will not enter into a commercial treaty with this country ; and 
that, if the accomplishment, of that measure is the only object of the 
residence of a Minister at London, Mr. Adams may be recalled without 
farther delay or disappointment. 

These Acts are for one year ; and if, during that term, the States of 
America continue as destitute of an union of measures as they have 
remained since the peace, they will probably be made perpetual. Un- 
less the fear of a rival in America induces the British Government to 
relax their Navigation Acts, no other motive will ; for in fact the effect 
of every project of a commercial treaty must be an alteration of the 
laws of navigation. 


The present Ministry are unquestionably against a treaty : indeed, 
were they well disposed to treat, they would not dare do it without the 
approbation of Parliament. There the measure would find few or no 
advocates ; the nation is wedded to their ancient regulations ; and the 
prejudices of the kingdom are so much in favor of the navigation laws, 
that he must be a bold Minister who should propose an alteration. 

It is said, however, and from probable authority, that the nation 
would have relaxed their laws in favor of the United Netherlands, 
could they thereby have prevented the defensive alliance between them 
and the King of France. But the party of the Prince of Orange, 
together with a corrupt attempt of the English Minister, failed ; and 
the alliance was concluded in November last. 

It was thought that this alliance would have disposed the British 
Ministry to measures of friendship with our country; and that, appre- 
hensive that the United States might become a party in this combina- 
tion, they would not readily deny or refuse to evacuate the ports now 
possessed in America, in contravention of the treaty. In pursuance 
of this idea, and under instructions for that purpose, Mr. Adams made 
a demand for an evacuation and surrender; and, in February, Lord 
Carmarthen delivered to Mr. Adams the answer of the King, which 
declares His Majesty's firm determination to abide by, and carry into 
full and complete effect, every part of the definitive treaty of peace 
between His Majesty and the United States ; but remarks, that it cannot 
be expected that His Majesty will carry the same into effect, unless he 
discovers a disposition in the United States in like manner to abide by 
and execute the same ; that the fourth article of the treaty stipulates that 
no legal impediments shall be opposed to the recovery of the bond fide 
debts of British creditors, but that laws exist in many of the American 
States which are interpreted by their respective judicatories legal im- 
pediments to such recovery ; that so long as these impediments remain, 
in violation of the treaty on the part of the United States, they have 
no right to require a full compliance therewith on the part of His 
Majesty ; but that His Majesty will unequivocally execute the same 
as soon as he has ascertained that a similar disposition prevails in the 
United States. 

An abstract of the laws of the several States which are said to be 
in violation of the treaty, was delivered by Lord Carmarthen to Mr. 
Adams, and by this Minister transmitted to Congress. No acts of any 
of the four New-England States are complained of, except the act of 
Massachusetts, passed in 1784, relative to interest. This, however, is 


not truly stated ; and, as it exists, cannot be construed in contravention 
of the treaty. 

It is a pleasing reflection, that nothing is charged against any of the 
States on the subject of the refugees. This silence tends to evince 
the truth of the construction which has been contended for by many 
persons in America, that the clauses in the treaty relative to a restitu- 
tion of their property and their residence within the States are merely 
recommendatory, and not absolute. 

The foregoing communications are considered as of the first political 
importance. I have written in much haste ; but, judging the informa- 
tion necessary, I have thought it my duty to transmit it to you as first 
magistrate of our Commonwealth. My remarks are totally unneces- 
sary. One truth is most obvious, " that the happiness, prosperity, and 
safety of our country must depend upon the united systems and ex- 
ertions of the several States, and not on the separate arrangements 
of individual States, or the kindness, favor, or friendship of foreign 

Mr. Gorham informs me that he shall write to you in answer to 
your last. I will do myself the honor to inform your excellency by 
the next post of the condition of the negotiation for procuring peace 
from the States of Barbary. 

With perfect respect, I have the honor to be your Excellency's 
obedient and very humble servant, Rufus King. 

His Excellency Governor Bowdoin. 

Rufus King to Elbridge Gerry. 

New York, June 4, 1786. 
My dear Friend, — I have long entertained doubts concerning the 
line of conduct which Congress ought to pursue relative to the territory 
of the United States north-west of the Ohio ; and am every day more 
confirmed in the opinion, that no paper engagements or stipulations can 
be formed which will insure a durable connection between the Atlantic 
States and those which will be erected to the westward of the Appala- 
chian or Alleghany Mountains, provided the Mississippi is immediately 
opened. The pursuits and interests of the people on the two sides will 
be so different, and probably so opposite, that an entire separation must 
eventually ensue. This consequence appears to me so obvious, that I 
very much doubt whether the United States would ever receive a penny 
of revenue from the inhabitants who may settle the Western territory. 



Should there be an uninterrupted use of the Mississippi at this time 
by the citizens of the United States, I should consider every emigrant 
to that country from the Atlantic States as for ever lost to the confed- 
eracy, Perhaps I am in an error ; but, when men have no interest in 
an union inconvenient to them in many points, I can discover no prin- 
ciple which will attach them to such a connection. I know not what 
advantages the inhabitants of the Western territory would acquire by 
becoming members of our confederacy. They would want no protection ; 
their local situation would sufficiently secure them from all foreign 
hostility ; their exchange of merchandise or commerce would not be 
across the Appalachian Mountains, but wholly confined to the Missis- 

If these conjectures are just, in true policy, ought the United States 
to be very assiduous to encourage their citizens to become settlers of 
the country beyond the Appalachian ? The object of Congress appears 
hitherto to have been a sale of this country for the sinking of the 
domestic debt : the immediate extinguishment of this debt is certainly 
a very important consideration, but it has its price. 

Suppose that a treaty could be formed between Spain and the 
United States upon principles of exact reciprocity, so that the citizens of 
the latter might introduce into the European and African dominions 
of the former all sorts of goods and merchandise, upon the same terms 
on which the subjects of Spain could introduce the same articles ; and, 
on the other hand, that the subjects of Spain might import into any of 
the United States all sorts of goods and merchandise, upon the same 
terms as the citizens of the United States could introduce the same. 
Suppose farther, that the treaty should stipulate that all the masts, 
spars, timber, &c, &c, wanted for the national marine of Spain, should 
be purchased and paid for in the United States with specie, provided 
the quality of the materials equalled that of the same articles in other 

Suppose yet farther, that the Philippine Islands should be opened to 
the American ships and commerce, and of consequence the gold and 
silver of Acapulco put within their reach. 

Add to the foregoing, an article in the treaty, not to relinquish the 
right to the free navigation of the Mississippi, but " stipulating that the 
United States should forbear to use the navigation of the Mississippi for 
twenty or tiventy-five years." 

Would not such a treaty be of vast importance to the Atlantic 
States, particularly to the Eastern division of them? Would not the 


fish, flour, and other products of the United States, acquire thereby a 
manifest superiority in Spain over similar commodities of any other 
country ? "Would not the conventional forbearance of the use of the 
Mississippi implicate most strongly the right of the United States, 
independent of the convention or treaty ? If these queries are answered 
in the affirmative, what objection is there on the part of the United 
States to conclude such a treaty ? 

This question brings into view the plan of extinguishing the do- 
mestic debt by the sale of the Western territory, the system whereby 
it is proposed to govern the people who shall settle westward of the 
Alleghany Mountains and within the United States, and the ability of 
the United States at this time to contend with Spain in vindicating 
their right to the free use and navigation of the Mississippi. 

I am very sensible that the popular opinion throughout the United 
States is in favor of the free navigation of the Mississippi, and that the 
reasons must be strong and important which can successfully oppose 
this opinion. I am also fully sensible, that the free navigation of that 
river will hereafter be of vast importance to the inhabitants within the 
territories of the United States. Yet admitting, what will not be de- 
nied, that Spain will on no condition agree that any people except those 
of their own nation shall navigate the Mississippi, are the United States 
in a condition to assert their right ? If you answer this question as I 
should {believing, as I do, that a war with Spain, France, or England 
would terminate in the loss of the fisheries, and the restriction of 
boundaries, perhaps by Kennebec on one part, and the Appalachian 
Mountains on the other), is there any substantial objection against an 
article in a treaty with Spain relative to the Mississippi, such as is 
alluded to ? If it is a consent to what we cannot alter, considering other 
benefits to be obtained, it must be wisdom thus to consent. 

But how will this article affect the sale of the Western territory ? 
The answer which the delegates of Virginia (all of whom probably are 
deeply interested in the Ohio or Kentucky lands) would give, is, that 
the value of the country west of the Alleghany Mountains depends in a 
high degree upon the opening of the Mississippi. Admit the fact. 
It is denied that the United States can, under present circumstances, 
open that river to their citizens. If so, the value placed upon these 
lands, which depend upon the opening of the Mississippi, is an ideal 
value at this time. With men, therefore, who do not wish to involve 
the United States in a war against policy and sound reason, this 
objection is of little consideration. The lands perhaps will not produce 


so much under the present circumstances of the Mississippi as they 
would if that river was open ; but, to all persons desirous of becoming 
settlers, they will sell for a handsome price, and go a good way in ex- 
tinguishing the domestic debt. 

But how 'will such an article affect the intercourse between the 
inhabitants of the Western territory and those of the Atlantic States ? 
In my judgment, very favorably. If the former are cut off for a time 
from any connections except with the old States across the mountains, 
I should not despair that a government might be instituted, so connect- 
ing them with the Atlantic States as would be highly beneficial to 
both, and promise a considerable duration. 

But, my dear friend, after all, these are but speculative opinions ; and 
I am even doubtful of them when a variety of influential motives, which 
seem to promise well for my country, authorize my assent. I alluded 
to this subject in my last letter to you. I wish for your counsel. I 
wish the New-England States were here. I pray you to read these 
remarks with candor, and in confidence inform me of your opinion. If 
I had taken time and care to have expressed my sentiments on this 
subject, I would have requested you to have communicated this paper 
to your friend Governor Bowdoin, and prayed through you his 

I shall be brought to a decision on this question. Congress must 
determine. If Spain don't conclude a treaty with the United States, 
I think they will endeavor to guard against the evils they fear from 
us, by an intimate connection with Great Britain. 

I am of a committee now in conference with the Secretary of Foreign 
Affairs on this subject. Spain wishes a treaty with the United States 
in preference to any other nation ; and there is no nation with whom 
the United States could form more beneficial treaties than with Spain 
and Portugal. 

Spain will not give up the Mississippi. But I will not add. I 
write in great haste and in full confidence. If you are at Boston, and 
can consult Mr. Bowdoin, I should thank you to do it. I intended to 
have written to him relative to the Barbary treaties, but have not been 
able to find the time. 

Adieu, yours affectionately, R. King. 

Inform me of the receipt of this, and of my last. 

Mr. Gerry. 


Samuel Tymms, F.S.A., &c, Honorary Secretary and 
Treasurer to the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology, pre- 
sented to the Society, through the President, and in the 
name of the Institute, four numbers of the second 
volume of the " East Anglian." 

Mr. Hale inquired if any of the members present 
had ever met with a reference to Tobacco, in the writ- 
ings of Shakespeare. He said that he was about to state 
in print that no such reference could be found ; and he 
should feel very awkwardly if, the next day after the 
publication of such a statement, some Shakespeare critic 
should send him a passage containing the word. Ralph 
Lane introduced Tobacco into England, from Virginia, 
about the time that Shakespeare is supposed to have 
taken up his residence in London. If both Shakespeare 
and Raleigh were members of " The Mermaid Club," 
the great dramatist must have seen Raleigh smoking 
there ; and he thought it a curious fact, that while 
there was unmistakable reference to America in Shake- 
speare's writings, he could find no allusion to Tobacco. 

Mr. Hale's remarks elicited considerable discussion 
among the members. 

Colonel Aspinwall stated that Virginia tobacco was 
not an article of commerce in Europe, till about 1614, 
its production having been discouraged by the Govern- 
ment; and it was therefore not a subject of general 
notice. He believed it was first known in the market 
as " Varina." 




[The following paper was read at the meeting in December last ; but, 
owing to the absence of the writer from the State when the Proceedings 
of that meeting were passing through the press, the printing of the paper 
was deferred : — ] 

It is interesting and instructive to contemplate the progress 
of the settlement of the different portions of the country ; 
to note the differences which existed between the mode of 
settlement adopted in New England and in other districts ; to 
inquire how the townships of New England came into exist- 
ence, and perceive how largely they must have contributed 
to the success of the settlements ; but, above all, to mark 
their influence, mainly exerted through their subsequent in- 
corporation as towns, upon the social, political, moral, and 
religious character of the inhabitants. It will increase our 
veneration for our fathers, it will refresh our own patriotism. 
The great principle upon which the settlement of New 
England had its inception, and which led to the establishment 
of the colony at Plymouth, was the desire of the Pilgrim 
Fathers to enjoy unmolested their religious opinions. There 
were two other principles upon which the settlement was 
projected, or which were soon after recognized, and which, 
in their tendency to promote the prosperity of the enterprise, 


were secondary only to that of religious liberty: one, that 
the right of government should be secured to them by char- 
ters, conferring upon them powers for that purpose ; the 
other, that the adventurers were severally to possess small 
freeholds in their own right.* 

There were perhaps several reasons why the emigrants, 
in the first instance, were desirous of acquiring only a mod- 
erate portion of the territory. They could take possession 
of but a small strip of land on the seaboard, the necessity of 
mutual protection against Indian hostility obliging them to 
live in communities. They desired to encourage the emigra- 
tion of all those who, like themselves, were suffering for 
conscience' sake. They had in view trade, rather than agri- 
culture. And it may be added, that the religious and political 
principles of many of them alike forbade an attempt at the 
acquisition of feudal rights or manorial relations. 

There were doubtless, also, several reasons why, in their 
grants and charters, they should have insisted upon the inser- 
tion of such articles as would enable them to make laws and 
ordinances for their own government, and provision for their 
own welfare. The necessity of a civil government of some 
kind was apparent. The impossibility that any government, 
administered by the Mother Country alone, should be adequate 
to their wants, must have been equally so. And, above all, 
the determination of the emigrants to be secure in their re- 
ligious privileges, which security they well knew could not 
be attained except by the power of making their own regula- 
tions, was alone a sufficient reason. 

In considering, therefore, the early history of New Eng- 
land, and tracing its prosperity through the hardships and 
toil and suffering and dangers which were endured by the 
early settlers, while great credit is due to the religious prin- 
ciple which actuated most of them, and too much praise can 

* Morton's Memorial, Davis's ed., 1826. Appendix F, p. 362. 


hardly be bestowed upon it, we should not overlook the other 
agencies to which I have thus referred; to wit, corporate 
municipal powers, and the subdivision of the land into small 
freeholds;. which, if they grew out of, and were originally but 
consequences of, the religious sentiment, yet became of them- 
selves powerful means in the promotion of the settlement and 
prosperity of the country. 

Fervent as was the piety, and persistent as was the 
energy, of many of the early settlers, the religious principle 
could not have been maintained, impressing its character upon 
the opinions, manners, and habits of the people, had it not 
been for these other agencies. Had there been, in the early 
settlement of the country, colonial governors, appointed by 
the crown to enforce laws made by the Mother Country only, 
without a power of self-government, the ranks of the emi- 
grants could not have been filled. And, had the country been 
granted in large tracts to single proprietors, who thereupon 
attempted to settle them as leaseholds, by a tenantry paying 
rents of money, grain, &c, the settlements of New England 
could have never proceeded with the rapidity and success 
which have characterized them. 

Manors have existed in a portion of the colony of New 
York. And the grants of land by the owner of the manor 
(" the Patroon"), reserving an annual rent, have been the 
source of incalculable evils, morally and politically; in these 

But the form of self-government provided for in the chart- 
ers and patents was not alone sufficient for the purpose. All 
these elements, to wit, religious liberty, self-government, and 
freehold titles, have had their full influence and operation 
more effectually through the organization of towns, than 
in any other mode. It is through the action of these town 
incorporations that the Puritan principles have been sus- 
tained, the New-England character formed, the industry and 
ecoaomy of the people promoted, the education of the whole 


population provided for, and perhaps the independence of 
the country secured. I am sure that I do not exaggerate 
their importance, when I say that they have been the arterial 
system of New England, through which has circulated the 
life-blood which has invigorated, sustained, and strengthened 
her; making her expand in her religious, social, educational, 
benevolent, and political institutions and character. 

The subject of the present paper is the origin of these 
town corporations, the mode of their organization, their util- 
ity as manifested by the division of the lands within their 
limits, the rights and privileges which they possessed and 
secured, their duties and liabilities, and the influence they 
have exerted, not only upon the social and religious charac- 
ter of the people embraced within their respective limits, 
but the vast effect they have had upon the political destinies 
of New England, and of the whole country. 

Before proceeding to show the manner in which these 
towns originated, it may be well, for the information of any 
one not conversant with the subject, to say, that in the early 
history and records of New England, while the term planta- 
tion was often used to designate the whole colony, whether 
of Plymouth or Massachusetts, the terms plantation and town 
were used indifferently, to represent a settlement of per- 
sons in the neighborhood of each other, forming a cluster of 
habitations, the inhabitants voluntarily associating themselves 
together for the performance of certain common duties, and 
the enjoyment of common privileges and social intercourse ; 
although persons living at some distance, and comparatively 
isolated, might be thus associated with those more compactly 
settled, and thus belong to the plantation or town. When 
adjacent lands were afterwards granted to them or others, 
so that the territory was sufficiently large, the limits of the 
plantation or town were established, and it was afterwards 
known as a township, or town. Purchases of territory were 
sometimes made from the Indians, and allowed by the General 


Court, and a charter granted. The territory within the limits 
of these grants and purchases was sometimes known as a 
township ; but as the limits of such early towns were rarely, 
if ever, established until an act of incorporation was granted, 
which authorized the inhabitants to exercise certain powers 
of local government, the term township is not so often found 
applied to these earliest settlements, as that of town. 

At a somewhat later stage in the history of New England, 
when the emigration had increased and there was a desire 
and necessity for the expansion of the settlements, tracts of 
land, of some miles in extent, were granted by the Govern- 
ment to companies, or to several persons, in anticipation of 
settlement. These grants were called townships; and the 
grantees or proprietors of the township held meetings, divid- 
ing and allotting the lands among themselves, in different 
modes, by a major vote. The share of each proprietor in 
the township might be sold by him, and his lands when a 
division was made. Acting thus far like corporations, the 
proprietors have been recognized as having corporate powers 
for such purposes, and the collective body has been known 
as the Proprietary. When the lands were all divided and 
allotted, the proprietary became extinct, — dissolved by the 
accomplishment of the purpose for which it existed, — and 
the term toivnship soon ceased to be the common designation. 
Whenever a sufficient number of inhabitants were -settled in 
such township, to render it expedient that they should per- 
form duties and enjoy privileges similar to those performed 
and enjoyed by the inhabitants of the earlier towns (which 
was generally before the proprietary was dissolved), the 
township was incorporated, and from that time became known 
as a town, by the name specified in the act of incorpor- 
ation ; although the term township continued to be used, 
mainly in reference to the division of the lands, and matters 
pertaining to land-titles. 

The term plantation was retained but a short time, and 


has fallen into almost entire disuse in New England ; but 
it has been, and still is, used in the southern states, to desig- 
nate a large tract of land in the ownership of a single person, 
particularly when cultivated by the labor of slaves. 

Early after the institution of the Federal Government, the 
term township was used as descriptive of the territorial divi- 
sions of the public lands of the United States in the western 
states and territories, which have been usually surveyed into 
tracts six miles square, with subdivisions down to forty acres, 
and then offered for sale by the Government. As these town- 
ships become settled, they are called and known as towns ; 
and sometimes the villages in them have, popularly, the same 

It has been said (by Mr. Baylies), that "the origin of town 
governments in New England in involved in some obscurity. 
The system does not prevail in England. Nothing analogous 
to it is known in the southern states ; and, although the 
system of internal government in the middle states bears a 
partial resemblance to that of New England, it is in many 
respects dissimilar. Those who are strangers to our customs, 
are surprised to find the whole of New England divided into 
a vast number of little democratic republics, which have full 
power to do all those things which most essentially concern 
the comfort, happiness, and morals of the people." * 

Another writer remarks, that the New-England towns were 
" peculiar in their independence and the organization of their 
government," and that " this government, in the light of 
to-day so simple and reasonable, perhaps existed nowhere 
else." — " The nearest precedents," he thinks, "for the New- 
England towns were those little independent nations, the 
free cities of the twelfth century; or the towns of the Anglo- 
Saxons, where every office was elective." f 

* 1 Baylies' Memoir of Plymouth Colony, 240. 
f Frothingham's History ot Charlestown, 49, 50. 


But a careful examination of the history of the New-Eng- 
land towns will show that they were not founded or modelled 
on precedent. 

I very -well recollect the curiosity expressed by some of 
the gentlemen in the suite of Lafayette, on his visit to this 
country in 1825, respecting these town organizations and 
their powers and operations; and a very intelligent foreigner, 
the author of " Democracy in America," took great pains to 
acquire information respecting them, and devoted considerable 
space in his work to an account of their powers, privileges, 
and duties. With these matters we are all familiar, having 
almost daily occasion to take part in the exercise of the first 
two, and to aid in the performance of the latter. But the 
questions, how it happened that these towns were formed, 
what were their powers and duties originally, what has been 
the course of their progress, and what the effect of their 
organization, are not the subjects of our daily contemplation. 

They were not contrived in the closet, nor in the hall of a 
legislative assembly; and brought into existence, with the 
powers and duties which we find attached to them, by the en- 
actment of a law for that purpose. They did not burst into 
mature life by any previous contrivance. But, like most other 
useful machinery, they had their origin in the wants of the 
time, and came into existence by a gradual progress from 
imperfect beginnings. 

For the origin of these institutions, the introduction of 
their municipal powers and duties, and their operation in 
the distribution of the land into small freeholds, it is necessary 
to study the history of the early settlement of New England. 

The charter of " the Council established at Plymouth, in 
the County of Devon" [in England], for the planting, rul- 
ing, ordering, and governing of New England in America," 
granted by James I., Nov. 3, 1620, and known as "the 
Great Patent of New England," incorporated the grantees, 
and empowered them to make, ordain, and establish all 


manner of orders, laws, &c, for and concerning the gov- 
ernment of the colony and plantation, which should not be 
contrary to the laws and statutes of the realm ; with power 
to the Council, and to such governors, officers, &c, as they 
should appoint, to correct, punish, pardon, govern, &c, ac- 
cording to such laws, orders, &c, " and in defect thereof, in 
cases of necessity, according to the good discretions of the 
said governors and officers respectively, as well in cases 
capital and criminal as civil, both marine and others ; so 
always as the said statutes, ordinances, and proceedings 
[be], as near as conveniently may be, agreeable to the laws 
statutes, government, and policy of this our realm of Eng- 
land." The lands embraced in it were to be held "in free 
and common socage, and not in capite nor by knights ser- 
vice ; " which was the most free manner of holding lands in 
England.* This was certainly a most ample grant of powers. 

The emigration of the first settlers at Plymouth, in New 
England, was before this grant (although their arrival was 
after) ; and the settlement which they contemplated was to be 
under the General Company of Virginia, which was established 
in 1606. For this purpose a patent was procured from the Vir- 
ginia Company, which is supposed to have embraced a tract 
of territory near the mouth of the Hudson River. But they 
never made use of it. Storms drove them from their course ; 
they made land at Cape Cod, and concluded to settle there. f 

Before landing, they entered into and subscribed a com- 
bination or compact, " being the first foundation of their 
government," " occasioned partly by the discontented and 
mutinous speeches that some of the strangers amongst them 

* See Plymouth Colony Records; Plymouth Colony Laws, Brigham's ed., 1-10. 

t See Hutch. Hist, of Mass., 3d ed., vol. i. App., pp. 407, 409, 411; and, more at 
large, Bradford's History of Plymouth Plantation, published by the Massachusetts 
Historical Society, 1856, edited by Charles Deane, Esq., pp. 28, 41, 44, 76, 80, and 
Editor's notes. Same work in the Collections of the Historical Society, 4th series, 
vol. iii. For an account of the recent discovery of this work, see Mr. Deane's Editorial 


had let fall from them in the ship, — that when they came 
ashore they would use their own liberty ; for none had power 
to command them, the patent they had being for Virginia, and 
not for New England, which belonged to an other government, 
with which the Virginia Company had nothing to do. And 
partly, that such an act by them done (this their condition 
considered) might be as firm as any patent, and in some 
respects more sure." In this compact, after reciting that 
they were loyal subjects of. King James, and that they had 
undertaken, for the glory of God, the advancement of the 
Christian faith, and honor of their king and country, to plant 
the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, the sub- 
scribers solemnly covenanted and combined themselves " to- 
gether into a civil body politic, for our better ordering and 
preservation, and furtherance of the ends aforesaid ; and by 
virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame such just and 
equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from 
time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient 
for the general good of the colony, unto which we promise 
all due submission and obedience."* 

Under this compact they chose Mr. Carver governor ; and, 
in the early part of the next year, he was re-elected. Doubt- 
less they chose minor officers also. On Carver's death, in 
April, 1621, Bradford was elected governor; but, being ill at 
the time, an assistant was chosen. Subsequently the number 
of the assistants was increased to five, afterwards to seven, 
forming a court or council of assistants, the Governor having 
a double voice. f The authority to elect the officers, and to 
direct and order the affairs of the colony, was in the freemen ; 
and meetings for the purpose, called General Courts, became 
annual, first in January, then in March, afterwards in June.J 

* Bradford's Hist., pp. 89, 90. 
t Bradford's Hist., pp. 101, 156, 306, Dearie's note. 

X Bradford's Hist., p. 307, Deane's note; Plymouth Colony Laws, pp. 30, 32, 37, 
39. " The title of freeman is given to any one admitted to the freedom of a corporate 


Thus a frame of self-government, to be administered by 
the freemen themselves, and through the agency of those 
whom they elected for the purpose, was established from the 

On the first of June, 1621, a charter or patent from the 
President and Council established at Plymouth, in England, 
was granted to John Pierce and his associates, in trust for 
the colony. By this patent it was recited, that " Pierce and 
his associates had transported, and undertaken to transport," 
u divers persons into New England, and there to erect and 
build a town, and settle divers inhabitants, &c. ; and thereupon 
the President and Council agreed to grant and allot, and did 
grant and allot, to Pierce and his associates, and every of 
them, one hundred acres of grouDd for every person, if they 
should continue three years, or die in the meantime, yielding 
a yearly rent of two shillings per acre after the first seven 
years. There were other provisions for grants of lands, — a 
covenant for a further specific grant of title, by bounds, upon 
a survey; another, that at any time within, seven years, 
upon request, the President and Council would grant letters 
and grant of incorporation, by some usual and fit name and 
title, with liberty to them and their successors to make laws, 
ordinances, and constitutions, for the rule, government, &c, 
of all persons to be transported and settled, &c, with a pro- 
vision, that in the mean time it should be lawful for Pierce 
and his associates, their heirs and assigns, by consent of 
the greater part of them, to establish such laws and ordi- 
nances as were for their better government ; and the same, 
by such officer or officers as they should by most voices elect 
and choose, to put in execution. It was further agreed, that, 
when the lands should be planted, there should be a further 

town, or any other corporate body, consisting, among other members, of those called 
freemen." — Jacob's Law Die. The subscribers to the compact having combined them- 
selves into a civil body politic, acted, in the management of their affairs, like a corpora- 
tion; and they, with those whom they admitted into their association, were the freemen. 


allowance and grant of fifty acres for each person trans- 
ported and settled in the plantation.* 

It does not appear that the grantees ever acted under this 
patent. And it seems to me not improbable, that the clause 
providing for the payment of rent was particularly distasteful 
to them.f There is no evidence that any reliance was placed 
upon the authority given by the patent, when, ten years after 
the first settlement, the Court, after indictment and trial by 
jury, undertook to inflict capital punishment for the offence 
of murder. As they were then an organized community, 
•within the limits of the Great Patent, and recognized as such, 
perhaps they relied somewhat upon the provision in that 
grant, respecting discretion in governing, where no express 
authority was found. It appears that they consulted Gov- 
ernor Winthrop upon that occasion. They had no scruples 
respecting their authority, by virtue of their combination, to 
inflict corporal punishment for lesser offences.^ 

Pierce, in 1622, procured another patent, and it seems 
intended to establish a manorial court, and himself as lord of 
the manor. It is generally said, that this was assigned to the 
Plymouth colony. But Dr. Palfrey cites extracts from the 
Manuscript Journal of the Council for New England, to show 
" that Pierce's new patent was cancelled, and the Adventur- 
ers were reinstated in their rights." § 

A patent was granted, by the Plymouth Company in Eng- 
land, to Bradford, his heirs, associates, and assigns, Jan. 13, 
1629. And when, in 1636, the colonists revised their laws, 
they refer to their u solemn and binding combination," and to 
this patent, as their authority " for the ordering of a body 

* See Mass. Hist. Coll. 4th series, vol. ii. p. 158; Bradford's Hist. 107, and Deane's 
note ; Morton's New England's Memorial, p. 20. 

t William Hilton, writing from New Plymouth, November, 1621, says, " We are 
all freeholders; the rent-day doth. not trouble us." — Young's Chronicles of the Pilgrims, 
p. 250. 

X Bradford's Hist. p. 276; Hutch. Hist. Mass., vol. ii. p. 413. 

^ Palfrey's Hist, of New England, vol. i. p. 210. 


politic within the several limits of the patent." It may be 
noted, however, that in " a form to be placed before the 
records of the several inheritances granted to all and every 
of the king's subjects inhabiting within the government/' 
which was prepared at the same time, they not only refer to 
the compact, and the patent to Bradford, but allege that they 
" had sundry commissions made and confirmed by his said 
Majesty's Council for New England, to John Pierce and his 
associates (whose name we only made use of, and whose 
associates we were)."* If perchance it might afterwards 
be supposed that the " commissions " to Pierce affected the 
title to the lands, they asserted, it seems, their right to the 
benefit of them; although they did not rely upon them for 
authority in ordering the affairs of the body politic. 

Bradford surrendered the patent to him, " his heirs, asso- 
ciates, and assigns," "into the hands of the whole court, 
consisting of the freemen of the corporation of New Ply- 
mouth," in 1640, in order that the title should be established 
in the colony.f 

Many of these facts relative to the original establishment 
of the Colony are familiar to us, partly through the state- 
ments of authors who had seen Bradford's manuscript. I 
have recited them here, because the New-England towns 
derived their origin, organization, and powers of local gov- 
ernment, from the powers exercised by the early emigrants ; 
under the Compact, so far as appears, in the Plymouth colony, 
and under the charters in the colony of Massachusetts Bay. 
And they serve to show the principles upon which the emi- 
grants acted, and in part the manner in which they were 
obliged to proceed in making their settlement. The circum- 
stances in which they were placed, gave in no small degree 
a direction to the measures which they adopted in the man- 
agement of their affairs, .while always governed by the princi- 

* 11 Plymouth Col. Records, pp. 6, 21. f Bradford's Hist., 372. 



pies which led them to forsake their native land, and form a 
colony in the wilderness. 

Baylies says of the emigrants, that, " finding a place where 
much land had been cleared in the neighborhood of a small 
but pleasant stream/' &c, " and of a high hill which could 
be fortified in a manner so as to command the surrounding 
country, they resolved to lay out a town"* But Bradford 
does not use this phraseology at that date. He calls the set- 
tlement, in the first instance, a plantation; and it was not until 
the latter part of 1621, when, describing the measures for 
defence against the Indians, he says, " This was accomplished 
very cheerfully, and the towne impayled round by the begin- 
ning of March." f In another place he speaks of an " Indian 
towne ; " from which it is apparent that he uses the term 
merely to express the idea of a compact settlement, and with 
no reference to any organization. 

It was their first duty to maintain religious observances 
and worship ; and the second was that of good order, not only 
in things spiritual, but temporal also. 

For several years these powers of government were ex- 
erted upon a single community only. 

The original design being to establish a trading settlement, 
or factory as it is sometimes called, their first arrangement 
was that of partnership.^ Every man's person was valued at 
ten pounds; besides which, those who were able contributed in 
money and goods, and the profits were to be shared according 
to the interest of each in the common stock. The lands were 
also held in common, and assigned in small parcels for culti- 
vation from year to year. 

Although nothing appears to have been done under the 
patent to Pierce, it serves to show that at that time it was 
in contemplation not only to grant lands in severalty, but it 

* 1 Baylies' Memoir, 60. | Bradford's Hist., pp. 95, 106, 112. 

\ 2 Hutch., 416, 417. 


indicates what was supposed to be the proper extent of ordi- 
nary grants. The cultivation of the lands under a title held 
in common, by the people at Plymouth, was originally in- 
tended as an arrangement for seven years : but it proved an 
incentive to idleness instead of industry ; and, after a trial of 
two or three years, an acre of land was allotted to each in 
severalty, " to them and theirs, as near the town as might 
be."* This occupation in severalty made a great change in 
the industry of the people, and of course in the production 
of the necessaries of life ; f and, in January, 1627, it was 
agreed in full court, " that the first division of the acres 
should stand and continue firm, according to the former divi- 
sion made unto the possessors thereof and to their heirs for 
ever ; free liberty being reserved for all to get firewood 
thereon ; " but the timber-trees were excepted for the owners 
of the ground. At the same time a second division of twenty 
acres to every person was made.J Perhaps this limited 
experience had its effect in inducing a different mode of 
dividing the land in the early settlement of the colony of 
Massachusetts Bay. 

It appears very clearly from this statement, that the early 
settlers at Plymouth had very moderate desires respecting 
the acquisition of real estate. They set up trading-houses 
on the Kennebec and Penobscot, and settlements were formed 
at Scituate about 1628 (although the lands were not laid 
out "by order of court" until 1633 §), and at Duxbury about 
1632, the settlers " promising to live in the town [Plymouth] 
in the winter, that they might the better repair to the worship 
of God." || The Plymouth colony, as we should expect under 
such circumstances, did not increase with great rapidity. 

The whole colony constituted but one church, and there 
was but one town until 1633, when those who were on the 

* Bradford's Hist., 167; 1 Baylies' Memoir, 158. f 2 Hutch., 419, 420. 

% 11 Plymouth Col. Records, 4; Col. Laws, Brigham's ed., 29. 

\ Deane's Hist. Scituate, 8. || Winsor's Hist. Duxbury, 10. 


side of the bay opposite to the town, (the place where Dux- 
bury now is,) as Hutchinson says, " broke from the rest, 
because of the difficulty of travel, and became a distinct 
society."* It is mentioned, however, in the records of the 
colony, in November of this year, as " in the liberties of Ply- 
mouth " (p. 20). 

The settlement at Scituate had had a minister prior to 
1634, and in that year a society was organized and a minister 
settled (Jan. 18, 1634, O.S.). A house for public worship 
was erected some years earlier, f 

When these settlements became separated from the set- 
tlement at Plymouth, by an organization for the separate 
support of the gospel, it was the natural course of things 
that they should become separated for the management of 
their local temporal affairs ; and this was probably done in 
the first instance without particular authority, but was soon 
authorized by acts of incorporation, which constituted them 
separate towns ; and thus they had legal power to manage 
such of their affairs as were purely local, and to make by- 
laws for that purpose (subject, however, to such laws and 
regulations as should be made by the General Court), the 
freemen of these new towns still remaining members of that 

The emigrants had escaped from the tyranny of ecclesias- 
tical power. The principle for which they contended was 
liberty to worship God according to the dictates of their own 
consciences. Of course, when they associated together for the 
purpose of supporting public worship, it was " a church with- 
out a bishop ; " its creed, polity, and proceedings being regu- 
lated by the voices or votes of the members of the church, 
.subject to some extent to the great body of the churches 
when met in council. This is the fundamental law of Con- 
gregational action. The principle that the right to rule is 

* 2 Hutch. Hist., 415. f Deane's Hist. Scituate, 30. 


in the people, and not transmitted by succession in office, or 
by hereditary descent, was, of course, the principle which 
governed the companies in England in their temporal affairs. 
The founders of the colony at Plymouth applied it to their 
community by their compact, and founded " a state without a 
king," so far as their immediate government was concerned. 
So far as they acted under their charters afterwards, the 
principle was the same. And this was true also of the colony 
of Massachusetts. The emigrants acted, indeed, under the 
authority of companies which had procured grants from the 
king ; but there was no officer deputed by the royal authority 
to govern or direct their affairs. The freemen of the colony, 
— those who were admitted to participate in its govern- 
ment, — assembled in General Court, consulted and directed 
what should be done, and their orders and ordinances became 
the laws of the colony. These laws were at first made by 
and for the inhabitants of a single settlement or town. As 
the settlements extended, the single community remained, 
under this single rule in relation to all their affairs, until 
it became not only a great inconvenience for those in the 
new settlements in the vicinity to attend the church at 
Plymouth ; but the necessity for so doing ceased by the 
ability of the other settlements to provide a minister for 
themselves, and sustain public worship. And when they 
were able to do this, they had their particular local inter- 
ests, which they could best understand and provide for. 
There was then not only no necessity that they should go 
to Plymouth to procure orders and rules for the regulation 
of such of their affairs as were entirely local, but there was 
no reason why the inhabitants of Plymouth should have a 
voice in the direction of such matters, It was not consistent 
with the principle upon which the colony was founded, that 
it should be so. That principle required, that, while they 
should remain a part of the whole, and be subject to the gen- 
eral voice in relation to all matters which concerned the 


whole colony, they should be allowed to be, what their sepa- 
rate settlements had made them: viz., distinct communities, 
in regard to such affairs as concerned none but themselves ; 
and this was accomplished by acts of incorporation, passed 
by the whole body in General Court, which recognized them 
as towns, and gave them the general powers of corpora- 

Originating, however, in this necessity and propriety that 
the people thus separated by distinct settlements should 
manage their local concerns, this was only a part of the 
purpose of their organization. There were divers things to 
be done which concerned the general welfare, and which at 
the same time would or might promote the local interest of 
these settlements ; and other things, which, while they were 
mainly of public concernment, (and for which therefore the 
rule ought to be determined by the general authority of 
the colony,) could be more conveniently done and performed 
by these local organizations. And the performance of these 
things could be, and was therefore, required of them. It 
was made a part of their duty, and penal consequences at- 
tached to the non-performance. And thus there grew up a 
system of government, embracing two jurisdictions, admin- 
istered by the same people : the colonial government, having 
jurisdiction over the whole colony, administered by the great 
body of the freemen, through officers elected and appointed 
by them; and the town governments, having limited local 
jurisdiction, such as was conceded to them by the colonial 
government, administered by the inhabitants within the towns, 
through officers and agents chosen by them. In some respects 
they were like the borough towns in England. In others, en- 
tirely dissimilar. 

At a General Court held in October, 1633, " it was by full 
consent agreed upon and enacted, that the chief government 
be tied to the town of Plymouth, and that the Governor for 
the time being be tied there to keep his residence and 


dwelling; and there also to hold such courts as concern the 
whole." * This indicates an extension of the settlements. 

Few of the early regulations have been preserved. f But 
in 1632 it was enacted, "in regard to our dispersion so far 
asunder, and the inconvenience that may befall, that every in- 
habitant provide himself a sufficient musket or other service- 
able piece for war," and a certain quantity of ammunition.^: 
In 1633 it was enacted that every constable-rick have a 
sufficient pound to impound cattle that shall transgress any 
such orders as are or shall be made.§ The constable-rick 
seems to have been the territorial division in which the con- 
stable was empowered to exercise his duties and powers, and 
might be a ward or a town. In January, 1633, a constable 
and messenger was chosen for Plymouth, a constable for the 
ward of a bounded, &c; and a constable for the ward of 
Scituate. In January, 1634-35, it was agreed that the con- 
stables of Duxbury and Scituate should remain in their places 
another year; and in 1635 others were chosen. 

In October, 1634, certain persons were appointed for laying 
out highways "for Duxbury side," and others for "Plymouth." 
And in March, 1635-36, it was ordered "that at such con- 
venient time as shall seem meet to the Governor and Council, 
upon warning given, all men meet together for the mending 
of the highways, with such tools and instruments as shall be 
appointed." || 

In 1636, at a General Court held in October, "the ordi- 
nances of the colony and corporation being read, divers 
were found worthy the reforming, others the rejecting, and 
others fit to be instituted and made ; it was therefore ordered 

* 1 Plymouth Col. Records, 16. 

t Baylies says, "It is not known that they had any written law during this 
period " (to 1630) ; vol. i. p. 159. But the subsequent edition of the Colony Laws con- 
tains between two and three pages. 

% 11 Plymouth Col. Records, 14; Col. Laws, 31. 

§ 11 Plymouth Col. Records, 16, 200; Col. Laws, 34. 

|| 1 Plymouth Col. Records, 21, 31, 32, 36, 39. 


and agreed, that four for the town of Plymouth, two for 
Scituate, and two for Duxbury, should, as committees for 
the whole, be added to the governor and assistants, to rec- 
tify and prepare such as should be thought most convenient, 
that, if approved, they may be put in force the next General 
Court."* This may be regarded as the first convention for 
revising the laws ; and we have here a representation from 
the plantations, or settlements, not yet arrived at the dignity 
of towns, which was to report a draft for the consideration of 
the General Court. 

In the revision, which was made in November of the same 
year on the report of the committee, it was enacted " that 
the town of Plymouth, viz., the purchasers and freemen, have 
liberty of themselves to dispose of the lands that are or shall 
belong unto them, to such they think meet to receive in unto 
them. And also to make such orders for their convenient and 
more comfortable subsistence, as shall by them be thought 
most meet and convenient, provided they be not contrary to 
the public ordinance of the Government." 

" That Scituate be allowed the like liberties, and to dispose 
of the grounds between the North River and Cowehasset, 
provided they have recourse to Plymouth in case of justice." f 
This shows that freeholders as well as freemen might vote in 
the town meetings in relation to town affairs. 

In June, 1637, it was enacted by the court, that "Ducks- 
borrow " shall become a township, and unite together for 
their better security, and have the privileges of a town ; 
only their bounds and limits shall be set and appointed by 
the next court." f 

We have thus the origin of the first three towns in the 
Plymouth colony. 

It has been generally supposed, that, for many years after 

* 1 Plymouth Col. Records, 43. 

f 11 Plymouth Col. Records, 18; Col. Laws, Brigham's ed., 47. 

t 1 Plymouth Col. Records, 62; Winsor's Hist. Duxbury, 11. 


the settlement of New England, no one was admitted to 
participate in the election of officers, and in the making of 
the laws, but members of the church. This was not true 
of the Plymouth colony. There is nothing in the compact 
or charter, nor have I found any thing in the laws of the 
colony, requiring that as a qualification. 

The compact constituted the signers of it an associated 
community, of which, as a matter of course, no other person 
could become a member without their consent. 

The Great Patent to the Council at Plymouth expressly 
authorized the company, in their discretion, from time to 
time, to admit such and so many persons to be made free, and 
enabled to traffic, and to have and enjoy lands, as they should 
think fit. 

By the first patent to Pierce and his associates, the 
Plymouth Company, calling themselves the President and 
Council of New England, not only covenanted to grant let- 
ters of incorporation, authorizing the grantees to make or- 
ders and laws for the rule and government of all persons 
to be transported and settled upon the land ; but a clause 
was inserted by which it was made lawful for them, for 
their several defence and safety, to " expulse, repel, and 
resist, by force of arms," all such persons as, without the 
special license of the President and Council, should attempt 
to inhabit within the several precincts and limits of their 

The charter to Bradford and his associates expressly con- 
ferred upon the grantees the power to make orders, &c, as 
well for the better government of their affairs, " and the 
receiving or admitting any to his or their society." 

The power of exclusion from participation in the govern- 
ment of the colony was therefore perfect from the first; and 
they doubtless exercised it with a view of admission to the 
freedom of the settlement and corporation, of such only as 
were deemed worthy. But they did not limit their discre- 



tion in the admission of freemen, by the adoption of any order 
or rule for a long period. 

In the revision of 1636, it was enacted, " that the laws and 
ordinances of the colony, for the government of the same, be 
made only by the freemen of the corporation, and no other ; 
provided that, in such rates and taxations as are or shall 
be laid upon the whole, they be without partiality, so as the 
freeman be not spared for his freedom, but the levy be 
equal.' 7 * Miles Standish was a very efficient freeman, but 
not a church-member. In 1656, it was ordered, that the depu- 
ties of the towns where persons live who are admitted to be 
freemen, " shall propound them to the court, being such as 
shall be also approved of by the freemen in such towns where 
they live ; " and, in 1658, they were required to stand pro- 
pounded one whole year.f In the same year it was enacted, 
" that no Quaker, Rantor, or any corrupt person, shall be ad-* 
mitted to be a freeman ; " also " all such as are opposers of 
the good and wholesome laws of the colony, or manifest oppo- 
sers of the true worship of God, or such as refuse to do the 
country service, being called thereunto," " being duly con- 
victed of all or any of these.'* And it was further enacted, 
" that if any person or persons that are or shall be freemen of 
this corporation, that are Quakers ; or such as are manifest 
encouragers of them, and so judged by the Court ; or such 
as shall speak contemptuously of the Court and of the laws 
thereof; and such as judged by the Court grossly scandalous, 
as liars, drunkards, swearers, &c, — shall lose their freedom 
of this corporation.'" J The provision excluding quakers and 
ranters from admission would have been entirely unnecessary, 
if church-membership had been requisite. 

In the revision of the laws, published in 1671, it was re- 
quired, in order to be admitted a freeman, that the party 

11 Plymouth Col. Records, p. 11. f 11 Col. Records, 68, 7! 

t 11 Col. Records, 177. 


should be twenty-one years of age, have the testimony of 
his neighbors that he was of sober and peaceable conver- 
sation, orthodox in the fundamentals of religion, and have 
at least twenty pounds rateable estate. This is requiring 
something more, as well as something less, than church-mem- 

The next section placed a restriction upon the right of 
suffrage in relation to town-officers. The provision, with its 
preamble, is deserving of quotation entire : " And because 
it greatly concerns the good and weal of the whole Colony 
to have a good choice made in the several towns, of select- 
men, deputies, grand-jurymen, constables, &c. ; and it appears 
that some do abuse their liberty in voting for the choice 
of such officers, and are either factious or slight in their 
choice, — it is therefore enacted, that henceforth none shall 
have power to vote on such accounts in town-meetings, but 
such as are freemen of the corporation, or freeholders of 
twenty pounds rateable estate, orthodox in the fundament- 
als of religion, of good conversation, and having taken the 
oath of fidelity." * 

The revision of 1636, before referred to, provides for the 
election of constables for each part, and other inferior offi- 
cers. The oath of the constable describes him as an officer of 
the "ward;" and he was diligently to see that His Majesty's 
peace commanded be not broken, to apprehend suspicious 
persons, to serve warrants and summons directed to him, "to 
see the highways for man and beast be made and kept in 
convenient repair, and therefore be also appointed surveyor 
for the liberty he is chosen," &c. By the same code it was 
provided, " that in every constable-rick there be a pair of 
stocks erected. Also a cage, which shall be of competent 
strength to detain a prisoner, and a whipping-post; and these 
to be erected in such places as shall be thought meet by the 

* Plymouth Col. Laws, Brigham's ed., 258. 



several neighborhoods where they concern, upon the penalty 
X s for any township which shall be defective herein."* 

In January, 1636, — before the incorporation, it would seem, 
although recorded after, — it was ordered that the inhabitants 
of Plymouth should " have liberty to meet together to make 
orders for the herding of their cattle, and such other things 
as shall be needful for their more neighborly living together." 
In 1639, a like provision was enacted "for all the townships " 
" allowed or to be allowed." f 

In September, 1638, it was enacted that the inhabitants 
of Scituate should build a bridge over South Eiver ; that the 
inhabitants of Sandwich and Yarmouth should build one over 
Eel River ; and that the inhabitants of the townships of Ply- 
mouth and Duxbury should build one over Jones's River.:f 

In March, 1639, reciting that the townships had formerly 
had liberty to meet and make town-orders, which were thought 
to be defective, " for that they conceived they had not power 
to make assessments, rates, and taxes, for raising such neces- 
sary expenses as shall be disbursed about the general occa- 
sions of the towns concerning the Commonwealth," — it was 
enacted, " that every township shall have liberty to meet 
together and make levies, rates, and taxes for their town's 
charges, and to distrain such as shall refuse to pay the same, 
upon warrant of the Court or Governor." The next year it 
was provided, that, where persons had relief from the towns, 
and had children and did not employ them, the towns might 
take order that the children should be put to work in some 
fitting employment, or placed out by the towns ; also that 
every township should provide a barrel of powder, and lead 
or bullets answerable, to be kept ready for defence in time 
of need. In 1641, it was enacted that every township do 
carry a competent number of pieces, fixed and complete, with 

* 11 Plymouth Col. Records, 10, 11, 16; Col. Laws, Brigham's ed., 37, 40, 41. 
t 11 Plymouth Col. Records, 25, 32. r J 11 Col. Records, 28. 


powder, shot, and swords, every Lord's Day, to the meetings. 
And, in 1642, it was required that all the towns make wolf- 
traps and bait them, and look to them daily, upon the penalty 
of ten shillings for every trap which should be neglected. 
The number to be made by each town was specified.* 

The next year, provision was made against bringing into 
any town any person whose support might become charge- 
able to the town ; that every person that lived, and was 
quietly settled, in any township, and not excepted against 
within three months, should be reputed an inhabitant [gain 
a settlement] ; and that every township should make com- 
petent provision for the maintenance of its poor.f 

We have here some of the original powers and duties to 
be exercised and performed by the towns and their officers, 
upon their incorporation. They are, it is perceived, of a very 
miscellaneous character. Other powers, privileges, and duties 
were added from time to time, as it became apparent that 
these organizations were adapted to their exercise and per- 
formance. And so changes have been made since, as occa- 
sion seemed to require. The duty of keeping the stocks and 
the whipping-post has been abolished by the humanity of 
later times. That of keeping the cage [jail] has been trans- 
ferred to the counties. The maintenance of the wolf-traps is 
no longer required. 

In March, 1638, complaint having been made that the free- 
men were put to many inconveniences and great expenses by 
their continual attendance at the courts, it was enacted, " that 
every town shall make choice of two of their freemen, and 
the town of Plymouth of four, to be committees or deputies 
to join with the Bench [Court of Assistants], to enact and 
make all such laws and ordinances as shall be judged to be 
good and wholesome for the whole. Provided that the laws 
they do enact shall be propounded one court, to be consid- 

* 11 Plymouth Col. Records, 25, 32, 28, 36, 38. f 11 Col. Records, 40, 41. 


ered upon until, the next court, and then to be confirmed, if 
they shall be approved of (except the case require present 
confirmation). And that if any act shall be confirmed by 
the Bench and committees, which, upon further deliberation, 
shall prove prejudicial to the whole, that the freemen at the 
next election court, after meeting together, may repeal the 
same, and enact any other that may be useful to the whole. 
And that every township shall bear their committee's charges, 
and that such as are not freemen, but have taken the Oath of 
fidelity, and are masters of families and inhabitants of the said 
towns, as they are to bear their part in the charges of their 
committees, so to have a vote in the choice of them, provided 
they choose them only from the freemen of the said town 
whereof they are ; but, if any of such committees shall be 
insufficient or troublesome, that then the Bench and the 
other committees may dismiss them, and the town to choose 
other freemen in their place." * 

Such was the foundation of the system of representation 
in the legislative department of the Plymouth colony. The 
representatives were not chosen by the freemen alone, but 
inhabitants of the towns who were masters of families and 
had taken the oath of fidelity had an equal right to partici- 
pate in the election, while freemen only could be elected. 
General Courts, for the election of the officers of the colony, 
continued to be held yearly ; the freemen who could not con- 
veniently attend being allowed to give in their votes for 
Governor, assistants, commissioners, and treasurer, in the 
town-meetings, sealed up, which were then to be taken by 
the deputies to the General Court, and counted with those 
of the freemen who were present.f If some of the principal 
elements of this system could be incorporated into our pres- 
ent system, State and National, and faithfully enforced, there 
would be less reason for exception to the proceedings of our 

* 11 Plymouth Col. Records, 31. f 11 Plymouth Col. Records, 81. 


legislative bodies, and the laws would have a greater measure 
of stability. 

In 1639 a General Court was held, at which deputies at- 
tended from seven towns.* 

In 1641 there were eight towns ; in 1658, twelve. f 

A representative system was introduced into the Massa- 
chusetts colony at an earlier date, by reason of the more rapid 
increase of that colony. 

The settlements in the Massachusetts colony commenced 
in a different manner, — dispersed in the outset, so that the 
separation into towns, which, as we have seen was arrived 
at in the Plymouth colony by slow degrees, took place at 
once, by reason of the transfer of the government of the 
plantation to New England, and a greater emigration ; and 
from the nature and necessities of the case. 

Through fishing and other voyages, divers persons — some 
in companies, some singly — had, prior to 1629, settled within 
the limits of what was subsequently the Massachusetts colony. ;£ 

The charter of " the Governor and Company of Massachu- 
setts Bay in New England," granted by Charles I., March 4, 
1628-9, under which the settlements were afterwards made 
in this colony, was, so far as our present inquiry is concerned, 
substantially like that to the Plymouth Company granted by 
James. The differences are hardly worth noting in detail. 
The grantees- and their associates were constituted a body 
politic and corporate. Reciting a grant by the Plymouth 
Company, in England, of a tract of land between the Merri- 
mack River and Charles River, &c, it granted and confirmed 
that grant in fee. The lands were to be held in free and 
common socage. A Governor, Deputy-governor, and assist- 
ants were to be elected out of the freemen, for one year, who 
were to hold courts. And a Great and General Court was 

* 1 Plymouth Col. Records, 126. f See 11 Plymouth Col. Records, 37, 182. 
$ See Hubbard's Hist, of New England; 5 Coll. Mass. Hist. Soc, 2d Series, 134. 


to be holden by the officers and freemen of the company, at 
which officers were to be elected and freemen might be ad- 
mitted. Ample power was given to this General Court to 
make laws, ordinances, &c. All the subjects of the realm 
inhabiting there, were to have and enjoy all liberties and 
immunities of free and natural subjects. 

The proceedings under the charter show that it was con- 
templated that the lands should be granted, in small parcels, 
to those who adventured in the company, and those who set- 
tled in the colony. 

At a General Court held in London, April 30, 1629, it was 
ordered that thirteen of the most wise, honest, expert, and 
discreet persons, resident upon the plantation, should have 
the managing and ordering of the Government, to be entitled 
" The Governor and Council of London plantation of Massa- 
chusetts Bay, in New England." John Endicott was chosen 
Governor, and seven persons to be of the council. They 
were authorized to choose three others ; " and, to the end 
that the former planters there may have no just occasion of 
exception, as being excluded out of the privileges of the com- 
pany," it was ordered that such of them as were willing to 
live within the limits of the plantation should be "authorized 
to make choice of two, such as they shall think fit," to make 
up the number of twelve of the Council.* 

It was further agreed on and ordered that the Governor 
for the time being, and the Deputy-governor in his absence, 
should have power to call courts and meetings, in places 
and at times convenient, as to his discretion should seem 
meet; and that the Governor or Deputy, together with the 
Council, being assembled, or the greater number of them, 
whereof the Governor or Deputy should be one, were " au- 
thorized by this act, grounded on the power derived from 
His Majesty's charter, to make, ordain, and establish, all man- 

* 1 Records of Mass., 38, 361. 

1866.] professor parker's paper. 41 

ner of wholesome and reasonable laws, orders, ordinances, 
and constitutions (so as the same be no way repugnant or 
contrary to the laws of the realm of England), for the admin- 
istering of justice upon malefactors, and inflicting condign 
punishment upon all other offenders ; and for the furtherance 
and propagating of the said plantation, and the more decent 
and orderly government of the inhabitants resident there." * 

Under this arrangement, a settlement was made at Salem. 
In May, provision was made for granting lands. It appears 
from the record that this was done with a view to building a 

On the 29th of August, of the same year, it was deter- 
mined that the patent and government should be transferred 
to New England, and settled there ; and John Winthrop was 
elected Governor, Oct. 20. 

The first Court of Assistants appears by the records to 
have been held at Charlton (Charlestown), Aug. 23, 1630, 
about two months after the arrival of Governor Winthrop 
and those who accompanied him. At this court, " Impr., it 
was propounded how the ministers should be maintained. 
Mr. Wilson and Mr. Phillips only propounded. It was or- 
dered that houses be built for them at the public charge. Sir 
Richard Staltonstall undertook to see it done at his plantation 
for Mr. Phillips, and Mr. Governor at the other plantation for 
Mr. Wilson." After specifying the particulars of the main- 
tenance, it is added, " All this to be at the common charge, 
those of Mattapan and Salem only excepted." J 

Thomas Dudley, one of the Assistants, and afterwards Gov- 
ernor, writing to the Countess of Lincoln, in March, 1631, 
gives reasons why " we were forced to change counsel, and 
for our present shelter to plant dispersedly, some at Charles- 
town, which standeth on the north side of the mouth of 

1 Records of Mass., 364. f 1 Records of Mass., 43, 363, 364. 
% 1 Records of Mass , 73. 


Charles River ; some on the south side thereof, which place 
we named Boston (as we intended to have done the place we 
first resolved on) ; some of us upon the Mistic, which we 
named Meadford; some of us westward, on Charles River, four 
miles from Charlestown, which place we named Watertown ; 
others of us two miles from Boston, in a place we named 
Roxbury; others upon the river of Sawgus, between Salem 
and Charlestown ; and the western men four miles south 
from Boston, at a place we. named Dorchester. This disper- 
sion," he adds, "troubled some of us, but help it we could not, 
wanting ability to remove to any place fit to build a town 
upon ; and the time too short to deliberate any longer, least 
the winter should surprise us before we had builded our 

At a Court of Assistants, Sept. 1, it was "ordered that 
Trimountain shall be called Boston ; Mattapan, Dorchester ; 
and the town upon Charles River, Waterton." f Also or- 
dered, that no person should plant in any place within the 
limits of the patent, without leave from the Governor and 
assistants, or the major part of them. " And that a warrant 
shall presently be sent to Aggawam to command those that 
are planted there forthwith to come away." Sept. 28, con- 
stables were chosen by the Court of Assistants for Salem 
and Dorchester, " to continue in office for a year, and after, 
until new be chosen." At the same time it was ordered, that 
there should be collected and levied by distress, out of the 
several plantations, for the maintenance of Mr. Patrick and 
Mr. Underhill, the sum of 501., which sum was proportioned 
among Charlton, Boston, Dorchester, Roxbury, Waterton, 
Medford, Salem, Wessaguscus, and Natascett. On the 30th 

* See 8 Coll. Mass. Hist. Soc, First Series, 39; Young's Chronicles of Massachu- 
setts, 313; Hubbard's Hist., 135. 

t Some of the subsequent acts of incorporation are models of brevity: " Wessa- 
cumcon is allowed to be a plantation." Its name was changed to Newbury. " Winna- 
cunnett is allowed to be a town." 


of November, there was a similar assessment upon a part of 
these towns and upon TVinnett-semett, for the maintenance 
of Mr. Wilson and Mr. Phillips.* 

At a General Court, May 18, 1631, Winthrop was chosen 
Governor, and Dudley Deputy-governor, for the year ensuing. 
And it was " ordered, with full consent of all the commons 
then present, that once in every year at least a General 
Court shall be holden, at which it shall be lawful for the 
commons to propound any person or persons, whom they shall 
desire to be chosen Assistants ; and, if it be doubtful whether 
it be the greater part of the commons or not, it shall be put 
to the poll. The like course to be holden when they, the said 
commons, shall see cause, for any defect or misbehaviour, to 
remove any one or more of the Assistants; and, to the end 
the body of the commons may be preserved of honest and 
good men, it was likewise ordered and agreed, that for time 
to come no man shall be admitted to the freedom of this body 
politic, but such as are members of some of the churches 
within the limits of the same."f In September, 1635, it was 
" ordered that none but freemen shall have any vote in any 
town, in any action of authority or necessity, or that belongs 
to them by virtue of their freedom, as receiving inhabitants, 
and laying out lots, <fcc." J This is, perhaps, the first inter- 

* 1 Records of Mass., 75, 76, 77, 82. f 1 Records of Mass., 87. 

X 1 Records of Mass., 161. Peterson, in his " History of Rhode Island,'' quotes from 
an article in the "American Quarterly Review," of June, 1835, in which the reviewer, 
speaking of the " superstition, bigotry, and intolerance" of "our ancestors," says, "Let 
us look for a moment to the Pilgrim Fathers, to the colony at Plymouth. Speaking of 
them, a judicious writer observes; " — and then follows what purports to be a long ex- 
tract in relation to the Massachusetts colony, containing this paragraph : " The first 
General Court was held at Charlestown, on board the ship 'Arabella.' A law was 
passed, declaring that none should be admitted as freemen, or be entitled to any share 
in the government, or even to serve as jurymen, except those who had been received as 
members of the church ; by which measure, every person whose mind was not of a particu- 
lar structure, or accidentally impressed with peculiar ideas, tvas at once cast out of society, 
and stripped of his civic rights.' 1 '' — See Peterson's Hist, of R. L, pp. 22, 23 ; Amer. Quar. 
Review, Xo. 34, X.S., p. 327. 

The mixing up, by the reviewer and the historian, of the " Pilgrim Fathers " of the 
Plymouth colony, with the proceedings of the " Puritans " in the Massachusetts colony 


ference, by the General Court, with the authority of the in- 
habitants of the towns to manage such of their affairs as were 
of a strictly local character. 

There had been, before that time, in addition to the appor- 
tionment of taxes upon the towns for the support of ministers, 
assessments upon them for the making of a creek at the " new- 
town " (Cambridge), and for the making of a palisado about 
it, in anticipation of its becoming the seat of government. 
The towns had also been required to furnish arms to those of 
their inhabitants who were unable ; to provide certain weights 
and measures ; to repair fences which had been adjudged by 
the inhabitants insufficient, if the owner did not after warning, 
the owner being made liable to pay the charges. It was or- 
dered also, in 1634, that the constable and four or more of the 
chief inhabitants of every town, to be chosen by the freemen 
there, should make surveys of cornfields, mowing-grounds, 
and other lands, improved or inclosed, or granted by special 
order of the Court, of every free inhabitant there ; and should 
enter the same in a book, and deliver a transcript thereof into 
the Court, that it might be recorded, and be a sufficient assu- 
rance of title. In less than a year afterwards, it was agreed, 
that those which are not freemen, that had taken or should 

is bad enough. But this is not the worst error. The Pilgrim Fathers, as we have seen, 
never adopted the rule, that, in order to be a freeman, the candidate must be a member 
of the church. There is no good reason to suppose that the first General Court of the 
Massachusetts colony (Oct. 19, 1630), was held on board the "Arbella." — See 1 Win- 
throp's Hist., Savage's ed., 35, note 4. Where the Court was held, however, is unim- 
portant. Officers could not be chosen at the Court of Assistants, held Aug. 23, 1630, 
even under the order of the Company in England of April 30, 1629. . The right of elec- 
tion was in the General Court. But no order making church-membership a requisite to 
admission as a freeman was passed until near nine months after Aug. 23, 1630; and 
none which limited voting in town affairs, generally, to the freemen, until five years 
after that time. 

Even in Bhode Island, not only the franchise, but ownership, was restricted. Peter- 
son says of the proprietors there : " Those whom they considered turbulent and unruly, 
they would not admit to ownership, or to exercise the privileges of freemen." — Hist, of 
R. /., 34. 

For the rule in the Connecticut and New-Haven colonies, see 2 Palfrey's Hist. N. E., 8 ; 
New-Haven Col. Records, Hoadly's ed., 14, 15. 


take the oaths of fidelity, should have the same assurance of 
land as was provided for freemen.* The bounds of towns 
also were established by the Court of Assistants, and differ- 
ences between them determined. 

Thus far the settlements have been in advance of the lay- 
ing out of the towns. But, in 1635, it was " ordered that there 
shall be a plantation settled about two miles above the falls 
of Charles River, on the north-east side thereof, to have the 
grounds lying to it on both sides of the river, both upland 
and meadow, to be laid out hereafter as the Court shall ap- 
point." f 

In 1634, it was ordered that the constable of every planta- 
tion should, upon process received from the secretary, give 
notice to the freemen of the plantation to send so many of 
their members as the process should direct, to attend upon 
public service ; and it was agreed, that no trial should pass 
upon any for life or banishment, but by a jury so summoned 
or by the General Court.J 

In 1635, reciting that " whereas particular - towns have 
many things which concern only themselves and the ordering 
of their own affairs, and disposing of businesses in their own 
town, it was ordered, that the freemen of every town, or the 
major part of them, shall only have power to dispose of their 
own lands and woods, with all the privileges and appurtenances 
of the said towns ; to grant lots and make such orders as may 
concern the well ordering of their own towns, not repugnant 
to the laws and orders here established by the General Court ; 
as also to lay mulcts and penalties for the breach of their 
orders, and to levy and distrain the same, not exceeding the 
sum of twenty shillings ; also to choose their own particular 
officers, as constables, surveyors for the highways, and the 
like." § 

* 1 Records of Mass., 137. \ 1 Records of Mass., 156. 
% 1 Records of Mass., 118. § 1 Records of Mass., 172. 


In 1638, it was declared, that every inhabitant in any town 
was liable to contribute to all charges, both in church and 
commonwealth, whereof he did or might receive benefit ; and 
that every inhabitant who did not voluntarily contribute, pro- 
portionably to his ability, with other freemen of the same 
town, to all common charges, as well for upholding the ordi- 
nances in the churches as otherwise, should be compelled 
thereto by assessment and distress, to be levied by the con- 
stable or other officer of the town as in other cases.* 

The preceding orders, so far as they limit the right of vot- 
ing to the freemen, were modified in 1647, when the General 
Court — " taking into consideration the useful parts and abili- 
ties of divers inhabitants amongst us which are not freemen, 
which, if improved to public use, the affairs of this common- 
wealth may be the easier carried an end, in the several towns 
of this jurisdiction " — declared that it should be lawful for 
the freemen in any town " to make choice 7J of such inhabitants, 
though non-freemen, who have taken or should take the oath 
of fidelity to this government, to be jurymen, and to have 
their vote in the choice of the selectmen for town affairs, 
assessment of rates, and other prudentials proper to the 
selectmen of the several towns ; provided still that the major 
part of all companies of selectmen be freemen from time to 
time that shall make any valid act : as also, where no select- 
men are, to have their vote in the ordering of schools, herding 
of cattle, laying out of highways, and distributing of lands ; " 
" provided also that no non-freeman shall have his vote 
until he have attained the age of twenty-four years." f 

In 1649, it was ordered that, in issuing warrants for jury- 
men, respect should be had to the number of inhabitants in 
each town.! 

Prior to that period, we find, further, that highways might 

* 1 Records of Mass., 240. f 2 Records of Mass., 197. 
X 2 Records of Mass., 285. 


be laid out and established by the town authorities ; that it 
was the duty of the towns to make and keep in repair high- 
ways and bridges, and that they were liable for all damages 
sustained by defects in the highways; that towns of fifty 
householders should have a school, and towns of one hundred 
families or householders should set up a grammar school, the 
master thereof being able to instruct youth so far that they 
might be fitted for the university, — the several towns being 
liable to a penalty for non-performance ; — that they might 
purchase and hold a parsonage ; and were to elect officers of 
the train-bands, which were the militia in the town. 

The privileges, and more especially the duties, of these 
corporations have been extended from time to time since 
that period. 

Having ascertained the mode in which the towns came into 
existence as corporations, and thereby obtained the power to 
make by-laws, and the other powers incident to a corporate 
existence ; and how, at the same time and subsequently, they 
were subjected to the performance of particular duties, and 
received grants of privileges, — the change, by and through 
which the General Court of the Massachusetts colony was no 
longer composed of the great body of the freemen of the col- 
ony, but of deputies (or, as is now generally said, representa- 
tives), elected by the towns, may well demand our attention. 

The charter, as we have seen, provided that there should be 
" a Great and General Court." This Court was to be holden 
four times in each year, by the Governor or Deputy-governor, 
and such of the Assistants, not less than six, and the freemen, 
who should be present ; and had power to admit freemen, elect 
officers, and make laws. This was attended with no material 
inconvenience, so long as the Company was a body of "adven- 
turers," residing in England, making the laws there, and act- 
ing by officers and agents for the purpose of disposing of land, 
and trading in furs, &c, in New England. 

But when it was perceived, that the project of settling a 


colony required a government within the colony, and it was 
debated whether it was not expedient that the charter and 
government should be transferred to New England, the gov- 
ernment of the Company established there, and the settlers 
admitted as freemen, — it must have become apparent, that 
the success of the enterprise would enlarge the number of 
the freemen to such an extent, that it would be impracticable 
for the great body of them to meet together, elect members 
and officers, and make the. laws; and that some other con- 
stitution of a legislative body was desirable. This consid- 
eration probably had its weight, along with others, in leading 
to the adoption of that part of the order of April 30, 1629, 
by which it was agreed on and ordered, that the Governor 
or Deputy-governor together with the Council, to be organ- 
ized under that order, were authorized by that act, " grounded 
on the power derived from His Majesty's charter, to make, 
ordain, and establish all manner of wholesome and reasonable 
laws, orders," &c. 

Notwithstanding there was nothing in the charter on which 
to ground such a provision, it does not appear to have met 
with any immediate opposition. On the contrary, we find 
that, at a General Court held at Boston, Oct. 19, 1630, " For 
the establishing of the government. It was propounded if it 
were not the best course that the freemen should have the 
power of choosing assistants, when there are to be chosen; 
and the assistants, from amongst themselves, to choose a Gov- 
ernor and Deputy-governor, who, with the assistants, should 
have the power of making laws, and choosing officers to 
execute the same. This was fully assented to by the general 
vote of the people and erection of hands." * How it hap- 
pened that such an attempt to depart from the charter, in a 
fundamental point, should have been assented to by a general 
vote of the people interested, does not appear. 

* 1 Records of Mass., 79. 


Mr. Savage, in a note to Winthrop's "History," says, " The 
company, or great body of the colony corporation, submitted 
at first to the mild and equal temporary usurpation of the offi- 
cers chosen by themselves, which was also justified by indis- 
putable necessity." * 

The reason is not very material. If there was indifference, 
it did not last- long. At a General Court, held May 14, 1634, 
it was " agreed that none but the General Court hath power 
to choose and admit freemen." — ll That none but the General 
Court hath power to make and establish laws, nor to elect and 
appoint officers as governor, deputy-governor, assistants, treas- 
urer, secretary, captain, lieutenants, ensigns, or any of like 
moment, or to remove such upon misdemeanor ; as also to set 
out the duties and powers of the said officers." — " That none 
but the General Court hath power to raise monies and taxes 
and to dispose of lands, viz., to give and confirm proprieties." 

At the same court it was agreed, that a fine should be set 
upon the Court of Assistants and Mr. Mayhew, " for breach 
of an order of court against employing Indians to shoot with 
pieces ; " one-half to be paid by the Court of Assistants, then 
in being, who gave the leave. f The margin of the record 
shows that the fine was remitted. These proceedings evi- 
dently show a determination on the part of the freemen to 
assert their rights of government, and to hold the Court of 
Assistants to a strict responsibility. Is it unreasonable to 
suppose, that the spirit which dictated these acts had been 
fostered by the exercise of the power of making by-laws and 
orders, and transacting business under their town organiza- 
tions ? 

At the same General Court it was " further ordered, that 
it shall be lawful for the freemen of every plantation to choose 

* 1 Winthrop's History, Savage's ed., 85, note. 

t 1 Records of Mass., 117, 118. See also 1 Barry's Hist, of Massachusetts, chap, 
viii., p. 204. 



two or three of each town, before every General Court, to 
confer of and prepare such public business as by them shall 
be thought fit to consider of at the next General Court ; and 
that such persons as shall be hereafter so deputed by the free- 
men of the several plantations, to deal in their behalf in the 
public affairs of the commonwealth, shall have the full power 
and voices of all the said freemen, derived to them for the 
making and establishing of laws, granting of lands, &c, and 
to deal in all other affairs of the commonwealth wherein the 
freemen have to do; the matter of the election of magistrates 
and other officers only excepted, wherein every freeman is to 
give his own voice." * 

Here we have the system of representation, which was two 
years afterwards introduced into the colony of Plymouth. 

In September, 1636, the representation was limited and 
proportioned among the towns by an order " that, hereafter, 
no town in the plantation that hath not ten freemen resident 
in it shall send any deputy to the General Courts ; those that 
have above ten and under twenty, not above one ; betwixt 
twenty and forty, not above two ; and those that have above 
forty, three, if they will, but not above." f 

This system of town representation was continued sub- 
stantially for more than two centuries, and was finally aban- 
doned in 1857, and a district system substituted, because, 

* 1 Records of Mass., 118; 1 Winthrop's Hist., 157. Hutchinson says, " At a Gen- 
eral Court for elections, in 1634, twenty-four of the principal inhabitants appeared as 
the representatives of the body of freemen; and, before they proceeded to the election 
of magistrates, the people asserted their right to a greater share in the government than 
had hitherto been allowed to them." — 1 Hutchinson, Hist, of Mass., 39. This has been 
supposed to indicate that these twenty-four persons "declared themselves to be the 
representatives of the body of the freemen, the freemen having assented ; " that " it was 
a voluntary organization, or, as it were, a Committee of Safety to frame government." 
— Debates in the Convention of Massachusetts in 1853, 4to ed., vol. i. p. 473; 8vo ed., 
vol. i. p. 910. But this is not probable. The "twenty-four persons," supposing that 
they appeared, probably came exercising their own rights as freemen, and claiming 
that in what they said they spoke the sentiments of the freemen, and represented them 
in that sense. 

t 1 Records of Mass., 178. 


the smaller towns having one member and the larger a pro- 
portionate number, the representative body became too large 
for the convenient transaction of business, and the expense 
of maintaining it an unnecessary tax. In 1635, it was or- 
dered that the deputies should be elected by papers [ballots], 
as the Governor was chosen.* 

In March, 1643-4, it was "ordered, first, that the magis- 
trates may sit and act business by themselves, by drawing up 
bills and orders which they shall see good in their wisdom; 
which having agreed upon, they may present to the deputies 
to be considered of, how good and wholesome such orders are 
for the country, and accordingly to give their assent or dis- 
sent : the deputies in like manner sitting apart by themselves, 
and consulting about such orders and laws as they in their 
discretion and experience shall find meet for common good ; 
which agreed upon by them, they may present to the magis- 
trates, who, according to their wisdom, having seriously con- 
sidered of them, may consent unto them or disallow them; 
and when any orders have passed the approbation of both 
magistrates and deputies, then such orders to be engrossed, 
and, in the last day of the court, to be read deliberately, and 
full assent to be given; provided, also, that all matters of 
judicature which this court shall take cognizance of shall 
be issued in like manner." f Thus this town representation 
became a distinct branch of legislation and judicature, the 
legislative body being divided into two branches, with a nega- 
tive upon each other. If the wisdom, discretion, experience, 
and deliberation, mentioned in this order, could be secured 
at the present day, our laws would be much more likely to 
be " good and wholesome " for the country. 

The particular manner in which the towns should organize, 
does not appear to have been prescribed by law. Their ofE- 
cers were such as their business seemed to require, and their 

* 1 Records of Mass., 157. t 2 Records of Mass., 58. 


by-laws and regulations such as commended themselves to 
the judgment of the several communities, having doubtless 
a similarity in their main features. We derive some knowl- 
edge of their early proceedings from the Town Histories. 

Charlestown was occupied immediately after the arrival 
of Governor Winthrop, and it was intended to build a " great 
town " there. 

A skilful engineer was employed to " model and lay out 
the form of the town."* — As this seems for a time to have 
been regarded as the most important settlement, and many of 
the most distinguished of the emigrants settled there, its pro- 
ceedings are of more than ordinary interest, as they probably 
furnished the model for those of other towns, and serve to 
elucidate their history. They furnish some intelligence which 
I have found nowhere else. 

It was jointly agreed and concluded, that each inhabitant 
have a two-acre lot to build upon. Afterward further divi- 
sions were made to the original settlers, and to others who 
became inhabitants. 

There is a record of " the inhabitants that first settled in 
the place, and brought it into the denomination of an English 
Towne ; " but it had little resemblance to an English town, ex- 
cept in the fact that it had streets, and was inhabited. 

The inhabitants of Charlestown for a few years transacted 
all their local business in " town-meeting." Prior to any law 
making it a duty, they provided for the support of their poor, 
&c. In 1634, they empowered a committee to lay out lots 
and make rates ; and a committee to be at town-meetings, 
and assist in ordering their affairs. Probably the duty of 
this committee was to endeavor to give the right direction 
to the affairs, on account of differences of opinion; for in 
1635, "in consideration of the great trouble and charge of 
the inhabitants by reason of the frequent meeting of the 

* History of Charlestown, 21. 


townsmen in general, and that, by reason of many men meet- 
ing, things were not so easily brought unto a joint issue," 
they made a compact, by which it was agreed by the towns- 
men jointly, " that eleven men, w r ith the advice of pastor and 
teacher, desired in any case of conscience, shall entreat of 
all such business as shall concern the townsmen, the choice 
of officers excepted ; and what they or the greater part of 
them shall conclude, the rest of the town willingly submit 
to as their own proper act." The eleven persons thus chosen 
were " to continue in this employment for one year." * 

We have here, I think, the origin of the management of the 
affairs of the towns by " selectmen," originally introduced by 
the agreement of the townsmen of Charlestown, and after- 
wards adopted into the laws of the colony. 

The selectmen acted as assessors of taxes and overseers 
of the poor. Other town-officers were elected, some of them 
the same as those elected at the present day, — town-clerk, 
constables, surveyors of highways. Overseers of the fields 
were also elected, part of whose duty was that of the hog- 
reeve of a subsequent period. But herdsmen and chimney- 
sweepers are no longer known as town-officers. 

In 1636, a schoolmaster was engaged by the town for a 
twelvemonth, — eleven years prior to the law of Massachu- 
setts compelling towns to maintain schools. f A schoolhouse 
was built in 16484 There was an organization of the militia 
also, for there were trainings soon after the settlement^ I 
have stated these particulars of what the people of Charles- 
town agreed and assumed to do, to show what the towns of 
New England have done, in a greater or less degree, from 
their earliest existence. 

The histories of other towns are not so full and particular. 
But it appears from the history of Dedham, that the inhabitants 

* History of Charlestown, 51. f History of Charlestown, 99, 65. 

J History of Charlestown, 97. § History of Charlestown, 94. 


made a town-covenant, which " laid the foundation for making 
legitimate by-laws;" — that, having thus acquired the right 
in their aggregate capacity to make laws, they exercised it 
for three years; but, as the affairs of the plantation required 
monthly town-meetings, this diverted them from their ne- 
cessary business, and in 1639 they delegated all their power 
to seven men, to be annually chosen." — " These seven men 
met monthly for many years, made many necessary by-laws 
for the establishment of highways and fences, for the keeping 
of cattle and swine and horses ; for keeping proper register 
of land-titles, and of births and marriages ; for the support of 
schools and religion ; for additional bounties for killing 
wolves and wild-cats ; for the extinguishment of Indian 

It is but reasonable to suppose, that the other towns which 
were founded about the same time — Newtown (afterwards 
Cambridge), Dorchester, Watertown, Boston, &c. — followed 
the lead of the " great town." 

It seems that, in some of the earlier settlements, it was 
understood that the lands within the towns, the Indian title 
being extinguished, belonged to those who were authorized 
to settle them, partly to be divided among themselves, and 
partly to be granted to those who should join them. In 
others they were granted by the General Court.f 

The first allotments of land, as we have seen, were quite 

* Worthington's History of Dedham, 32, 33. — The town regulations extended to all 
matters of police. — Felt, in his " History of Ipswich," p. 37, refers to an order of May 11, 
1644, the first part of which is, " It is ordered that all dogs, for the space of three weeks 
after the publishing hereof, shall have one leg tied up." The reason of this singular 
restraint was, that the people had manured their lands with fish, and the dogs, being of 
opinion that a more satisfactory appropriation might be made of the fish, did not pay due 
regard to this mode of cultivation. The latter part of the order was, "If a man refuse 
to tie up his dog's leg, and he be found scraping up fish in the cornfield, the owner shall 
pay twelve shillings, beside whatever damage the dog doth. But if any fish their house- 
lots, and receive damage by dogs, the owners of those house-lots shall bear the damage 

t History of Charlestown, 54. 


small ; and it excites no surprise therefore to learn, that in 
1634 "those of Newtown complained of straitness for want 
of land, especially meadow, and desired leave of the court to 
look out either for enlargement or removal." * The same was 
true of settlers in other places ; and this led to an extension 
of the settlements. f 

In this respect, as in some others, it was doubtless true, 
" that the appetite grew by what it fed on ; " and that there 
was, for that reason, a disposition, even when a liberal allow- 
ance had been made, to " ask for more." 

In a tract entitled " Good News from New England," 
printed in London, 1648, we find, — 

" Most men, unlanded till this time, for large lands eager sue ; 
Had not restraint knocked off their hands, too big their fermes had grew." J 

The wholesome restraint, however, which prevented the 
acquisition of overgrown territory, was continued. Substan- 
tial homesteads might be allowed to those who could im- 
prove them, and there were a few instances of large grants 
to some of the principal magistrates. 

It is stated that in 1634, when a larger allotment of land 
was made in Charlestown, the largest share was two hundred 
and sixty acres, and the smallest ten acres. These grants of 
land were intended for actual settlers. There was an order 
in one of the divisions in that town, that, if the lands granted 
were not occupied, they might be re-granted. 

The straitness of the men of Newtown for want of land, 
" especially meadow," it would seem, led to the settlements 
on the Connecticut, at Hartford and its vicinity.§ 

The colonial records of Connecticut commenced in 1636 ; 
but the original settlement being from Massachusetts, and the 

* 1 Winthrop's Hist., Savage's ed., 157. 

f Haven's Cent. Discourse, (in Dedham Hist. Coll.), 9. 

X 1 Coll. Mass. Hist. Soc, 4th Series, 203. 

§ 1 Winthrop's Hist., 162, 167; Morton's Memorial, 181. 


organization into townships being similar, it is not necessary 
to dwell upon the history of those settlements. The same 
may be said of New Haven and Rhode Island. 

As the Indian title by occupancy was extinguished, either 
by purchase or by the extinguishment of the occupants, 
grants of townships were made by the General Court, from 
time to time, extending into the interior. These grants were 
made to numbers of persons, who associated together for the 
purpose of procuring them ;. and, unless otherwise expressed, 
each grantee became the owner of one share in the township. 
The grantees were called proprietors, or collectively "the 
proprietary," and had certain rights of a corporate charac- 
ter, suited to the purpose of dividing the lands among them- 
selves ; for which purpose they held proprietary meetings, 
and acted by major vote. The partition of the townships and 
sales by the owners severally, were better adapted to pro- 
mote the speedy settlement of the lands than an attempt to 
sell by the proprietary, as general owner of the whole ; for 
the reason, that this mode furnished the greater stimulus of 
individual interest in making sales and securing occupation. 

The extension of the settlements is beautifully portrayed 
by Bryant : — 

" Look now abroad : another race has filled 
These populous borders ; wide the wood recedes, 
And towns shoot up, and fertile realms are tilled ; 
The land is full of harvests and green meads ; 
Streams numberless, that many a fountain feeds, 
Shine disembowered, and give to sun and breeze 
Their virgin waters ; the full region leads 
New colonies forth, that, toward the Western seas, 
Spread, like a rapid flame, among the autumnal trees." 

The early settlements of New Hampshire differed some- 
what from those of Massachusetts. 

The history of the conflicting grants, which were made 
from time to time, is foreign to our present purpose, which is 
with its mode of settlement rather than its title. 


Captain John Mason — who, along with Sir Ferdinando 
Gorges, obtained the grant of all the lands between the rivers 
Merrimac and Sagadahoc, extending back to the great lakes 
and the River of Canada — seems to have contemplated, along 
with a fishing establishment, large agricultural operations, 
connected with the " great house," which was probably de- 
signed for his own residence. It is said that three or four 
thousand acres of land were annexed to the house, which 
was built at Little Harbor, on the Piscataqua River, with the 
intention of forming a manor there, according to the English 

Hilton, another agent, who settled at Dover, had the power 
of granting lands. But subsequent events show, that here, 
as well as elsewhere, most of the settlements must have been 
made without any regular title to the land ; and there was, 
for a long time, no government organized under any charter 
or commission. 

The inhabitants of Portsmouth having, in 1640, entered 
into a social compact to establish a government among them- 
selves, in the next year the settlements on the Piscataqua 
River and its branches were formed into distinct governments ; 
so that there were existing, at the commencement of that 
year, four separate republics, independent of each other; 
namely, Portsmouth, Kittery, Dover, and Exeter;"* — that is, 
there were then four towns in that region which had all the 
powers of government in fact, by agreement, without any 
legal incorporation. The three former were settled with 
special reference to their fisheries ; the latter, for its salt 

The evils attendant upon such a state of things is readily 
seen, and the consequence was a union with Massachusetts, 
which continued until about 1680 ; these towns, with Haver- 
hill and Salisbury, forming the county of Norfolk. They 

* Adams's Annals of Portsmouth, 28. 


were represented in the General Court of Massachusetts. 
I am not aware that Massachusetts assumed the right of 
granting lands in virtue of the union, which was jurisdic- 
tional rather than proprietary. 

When the government of the colony of New Hampshire 
was organized, under the commission of President Cutts, in 
1680, only these four towns are mentioned ; and, although the 
settlements must at that time have extended considerably 
beyond their present limits, the representation in the first 
assembly was from them only. 

But the Massachusetts colony claimed, under their charter, 
the right to a large tract north of the present northern line 
of tlie State; and made grants of townships under that claim, 
during the union, and afterwards, until the settlement of the 

On the establishment of Mason's claim, townships were 
granted in a similar mode, by the Masonian proprietors. 

The colonial governor, Benning Wentworth, made similar 
grants, beyond the Masonian curve line, upon certain con- 
ditions respecting settlement. These grants were usually to 
a large number of persons, sometimes with shares for the 
Church of England and the Society for Propagating the Gos- 
pel in Foreign Parts, and a lion's share for His Excellency 

The usefulness of these New-England towns is seen, not 
merely in the ends which were attained directly by their reg- 
ular action, in the accomplishments of the objects of their 
organization, through the exercise of their powers and the 
performance of their duties ; but in the facilities which they 
furnished for rendering aid to other purposes which were 
not the objects of their organization. 

I have already adverted to the fact, that these town-organ- 
izations were powerful agents in the preservation of the 
religious principles of the early settlers. 

That there was a difference in the characters and habits of 


the people in the different sections of the country, upon the 
first emigration, we need not be told ; and this has been per- 
petuated to some extent by a difference of social institutions* 
In other cases, changes of organization have produced cor- 
responding changes in the manifestations of character. 

There was no small difference in the habits and manners of 
the early settlers of New England. A large portion of them 
was of the Puritan stock; but this, it is well known, was not 
true of all. Some of the early settlers of New Hampshire 
were attracted thither, not so much because of the freedom it 
offered to worship God according to the dictates of their 
consciences, as that it offered a freedom of valuable fisheries. 
It is undoubtedly true, however, that, in the days of the 
early settlement, and for a long period afterward, the leaven of 
Puritanism leavened the whole lump. It is equally true, that 
it exerts its influence for good upon the country at the pres- 
ent day ; and we trust it will do so through all coming time. 

But had there been nothing in the municipal institutions of 
New England operating favorably for the preservation of its 
principles, they could not have continued to exert their full 
influence after two or three generations. 

While, on the one hand, character has its influence in the 
formation and preservation of the institutions of government, 
it is also true that the institutions thus formed, in their turn, 
exert an abiding, almost controlling, influence in the formation 
of character. 

Could the worthy Friends who founded the State of Penn- 
sylvania have bestowed upon the City of Brotherly Love the 
simplicity of a Quaker town, and could their dress and forms 
of worship have been continued to it until this day, it would 
not, a few years since, have been the most noted of all the 
cities in the Union for the frequency and ferocity of the riots 
of its fire department. 

Had the Puritans left their descendants merely the legacy 
of their lives of purity and austerity, and of their principles 


of honesty and religious faith, without any institutions by 
which they might be perpetuated, the remembrance of their 
virtues, the force of their example, and the operation of 
their principles, would have been much less vivid, much less 
powerful, and of much shorter duration. 

I do not mean to be understood that institutions alone can 
preserve such principles and virtues, but only that they ren- 
der a powerful aid in producing that effect. While much that 
is valuable has been preserved, something of simplicity, at 
least, has passed away. 

The grants of townships, which were for the disposition 
and settlement of the land, became the source of immediate 
associations of people, — few perhaps at first, — clustering 
around the central point within the grant, or some favor- 
able spot near the centre, except when they were drawn 
to a point more remote, by means of the advantages offered 
by a waterfall, natural meadows, or some other local at- 
traction. The numbers of this small company, thus collected, 
increased from time to time, until the little settlement rose to 
the dignity of a New-England village. Here the mechanics 
established themselves, not always with the best of tools, but 
sometimes with plenty of shop-room. There is an anecdote of 
a traveller in Dunstable inquiring for the shop of the black- 
smith. " You are in his shop now, but you will find his anvil 
two miles further on," was the answer. Here was not only 
the blacksmith, but the carpenter and the shoemaker; and 
then came the tailor and the trader. The butcher and the 
baker are of a later date ; households, in those early days, 
acting for themselves in these occupations. 

These villages thus formed in the townships, although not 
walled for defence, furnished a wall of defence against Indian 
hostility, in the mutual support and aid of the settlers who 
clustered together, partly for that purpose ; and, when upon 
frontier settlements that was not deemed a sufficient protec- 
tion against a foe whose approaches were so secret and 


whose onset was so deadly, forts were constructed, by the 
common labors of the inhabitants, for their better security 
in times of danger. 

As the village made progress, lots were selected or drawn, 
and farms cultivated in other parts of the township ; the 
occupants in general looking to the central settlement as 
the place for the transaction of their business and for social 
intercourse. Amid these mutual dangers and hardships, mu- 
tual feelings of almost fraternal affection were cultivated. 

They divided into school districts, which were compelled 
to build schoolhouses. Their duty, to provide, in their cor- 
porate capacity, for religious instruction, continued for a long 
period. This, with the provision for schools, transmitted 
the Puritan character, modified by time and circumstances, 
but still with many of its distinctive features. There was a 
change in this particular after the country was settled, so 
that provision could be made in the several towns for the 
support of religious worship without the aid of the town 

The effect of these rights and duties, thus exercised, upon 
the religious, moral, social, and political character of the 
people, has been seen and felt ; but the influence of the town 
incorporation, through which they have been exercised and 
performed, has been but partially estimated. Through no 
other agency could such laws have been carried into effect. 
The want of such agencies was one great reason why in other 
parts of the country no similar provisions respecting schools 
and religious institutions existed. 

Passing the religious, moral, and social, let us dwell a 
moment upon the political effects. 

It was through these agencies and this organization that 
the measures of the Mother Country were discussed, when the 
controversy arose between her and the colonies. And if the 
merits of this controversy were better understood by the great 
mass of the people in New England than in any other portion 


of the country of similar extent, which I doubt not was the 
case, it was owing, in no small degree, to these town incor- 
porations : first, in furnishing the education ; and, second, in 
the facilities they afforded for gatherings of the people and 
the discussion of the subject. 

There was no extraordinary effort necessary to secure a 
meeting, whenever one was desired. The machinery for pro- 
ducing it was all ready. It only required to be put in opera- 
tion. No stumps were needed on which to utter patriotic 
harangues. The meeting-houses were well adapted to that 
purpose. It was thus that great masses of the people were 
influenced to an active and ardent patriotism. 

At the same time the most perfect facilities were furnished 
for a full knowledge, not only of those who were friendly to 
the crown, but of the various degrees of their hostility to the 
popular cause, from that of lukewarmness to that of rabid 

It was through these organizations that the way was pre- 
pared for resistance, not only in sentiment, but in material. 
Depots of military stores were provided, to a limited extent 
only ; but, so far as such provision was made, it was mostly 
by the towns. 

Great Britain rightly judged that a portion of the country 
so organized was the most dangerous ; and all the events of 
the time led to the striking of the first blow here. 

It was through these organizations that an industrious 
yeomanry while following the plough, and the diligent 
tenants of workshops while handling their tools, were con- 
verted into an armed soldiery, on the first news that the 
British had left the limits of Boston and were marching into 
the country. The dragons' teeth which produced that har- 
vest were sown in the shape of farmers and mechanics, who, 
holding themselves in readiness, as " minute men," required 
but the heat of warlike intelligence to burst into full life and 
vigor as a patriotic army. 


But for these towns, New England could not have been 
prompt to meet the crisis, and to assert the rights of the colo- 
nies by an armed resistance which made itself felt and re- 
spected from the very moment of the onset. By driving 
back the enemy discomfited, notwithstanding his partial suc- 
cess, she gave confidence in the result of the war, if war 
must come. 

It was through their organization that law was enforced 
and order sustained, during the period when war had sub- 
verted the administration of justice, which had previously 
existed, and peace had not arrived to substitute another. 
The towns organized under their own provisional govern- 
ment, as in the days of the earliest settlement, adopted 
regulations, and instituted an authority which reduced the 
refractory to obedience, and prevented the state of anarchy 
which must otherwise have existed to a greater or less 

It was through these towns that the great mass of the 
people of New England were not only prepared to throw 
off an allegiance which had become oppressive, but that they 
had anticipated the action of Congress upon that subject. 
The several averments or accusations in that bill of indict- 
ment, the Declaration of Independence, had been previously 
asserted and sustained by resolutions, over and over again, in 
the town-meetings of New England. 

It was through these organizations, and not through a 
want of patriotism elsewhere, that the support of the decla- 
ration was more effectual in New England than in any other 
of the colonies. 

That New England, like other communities, has and has 
had unworthy men within her borders, is doubtless true ; that 
her soil and her resources teach her the salutary lessons of 
economy, has become proverbial. Founding himself on these 
facts, her character for patriotism in the war of the Revolu- 
tion has been recently assailed by an English historian of 


some distinction ; and it may be proper to add a remark or 
two upon this subject, although it may lead to a restatement 
of some of the preceding matter. 

Without intending any invidious comparisons, where in 
general all did well, and the credit of the successful issue is 
due to all, it is but justice to New England to declare, not only 
that in no other part of the country of the same extent was 
she excelled — nay, equalled — in her expenditure of blood 
and treasure, which has often been said, and always proved 
when the occasion required proof; but that in no other part 
of the country could the war have begun with the same pre- 
paration on the part of so many of the inhabitants, and under 
circumstances so well calculated to inspire confidence in the 
result ; and that in no other part could there have been the 
same efficiency in carrying it on, 

If New England had been overcome, the war of the Revo- 
lution would have been an unsuccessful rebellion. And it 
is but a small measure of justice to the towns of New Eng- 
land to say, that this state of preparation, and this efficiency, 
were owing to their organizations, to the consultation of the 
inhabitants in town-meetings assembled, and to their powers 
to provide for the exigency by ammunition, provisions, 
money, and soldiers, growing out of that organization, as 
has already been stated. 

Stores of that great sinew of war, ammunition, the want of 
which was such a constant source of complaint, were found 
nowhere to the same extent as in New England; and much of 
it was provided by the towns. 

Were supplies of provisions to be had at short notice ? It 
was not by foraging among friends as if they were enemies : 
but the towns were called upon, and the supplies were gene- 
rally forthcoming; not always, it is true, in the ample manner 
desired, for there was not always sufficient ability when the 
will consented. 

Was money required to carry on the operation of a cam- 


paign ? It was found nowhere so readily as in New England. 
Were soldiers needed to fill ranks in the army? A requisition 
was made upon the towns to furnish their quota of troops, 
and the call was not in vain. Was the pay which was offered 
inadequate, and men reluctant to assume more than their 
share of the burden of the contest, to the neglect of their 
proper business, and the ruin, perhaps, of their families? The 
inhabitants, in town-meeting called for the purpose, voted 
increased wages from the treasury of the town, (which, in 
other words, was by an assessment on themselves,) to make 
up the deficiency of a depreciated currency. And when, by 
repeated drafts in this way upon their resources, the gene- 
ral ability was somewhat exhausted, individual inhabitants, 
excited to action by the enthusiasm of these assemblages, 
became security for this additional payment, sometimes in- 
volving their whole property. 

How much of the female fortitude and resolution which so 
nobly sustained the good cause may be traced to the town 
organization, or town-meetings, cannot be known. I in- 
tend to keep within the limits of fact, instead of entering the 
region of imagination. 

When the Revolutionary contest was over, these organiza- 
tions existed in the full exercise of their powers, requiring 
no change to carry the country onward to increased pros- 
perity ; and they still remain with undiminished usefulness. 



A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day, Thursday, February 8th, at eleven o'clock, 
a.m. ; the President in the chair. 

The Librarian announced donations from the City of 
Boston; the New-England Loyal-Publication Society; 
the Society for Promoting American Industry ; the State 
Historical Society of Iowa; the Sussex Archaeological 
Society ; the Trustees of the Boston Athenaeum ; the 
Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston ; 
the Publisher of the " Right Way " ; John Appleton, 
M.D. ; Mr. John Bartlett ; Horatio Bigelow, Esq. ; T. M. 
Bugbee, Esq. ; Rev. Charles Burroughs, D.D. ; Mr. E. 
C. Cowdin ; Henry B. Dawson, Esq. ; Henry G. Denny, 
Esq. ; Henry Edwards, Esq. ; Daniel C. Gilman, Esq. ; 
Pev. I. F. Holton ; Hon. Samuel Hooper ; Franklin B. 
Hough, M.D. ; Benjamin P. Johnson, Esq. ; Messrs. 
Alfred Mudge & Son; Mr. Joel S. Orne ; David 
Pulsifer, Esq. ; Hon. Alexander H. Rice ; Rev. Edwin 
M. Stone; Mr. John K. Wiggin; Mrs. Joseph E. 
Worcester; and from Messrs. Amory, Dana, Green, 
Lawrence, Palmer, C. Robbins, Sibley, Webb, and 
Winthrop, of the Society. 

The President called attention to the second volume 
of the "Hutchinson Papers" lying upon the table, re- 
cently reprinted by the " Prince Society," and presented 
a few weeks since by Mr. Lawrence, who had also given 


the Society the first volume issued in the early part of 
the last year. 

The President also announced, as a gift to the Society, 
a large-paper copy of Mr. Sibley's " Notices of the Cata- 
logues of Harvard College," from the author. 

Ex-Governor John A. Andrew was elected a Resident 

The President noticed the death of the Rev. Eliphalet 
Nott, D.D., a Corresponding Member, in the ninety-third 
year of his age. 

Dr. Lothrop gave some interesting reminiscences of 
Dr. Nott. 

Mr. Savage expressed the hope, that, although the 
Society holds itself under no obligation to publish 
memoirs of its Corresponding Members, Dr. Lothrop 
should be charged with the service of furnishing some 
memorial of Dr. Nott, for the Society's Proceedings ; 
and the suggestion was adopted by the Society. 

Mr. Waterston presented, with some remarks, a copy 
of " The Knightly Soldier," written by H. C. Trumbull ; 
and a copy of a "Memorial of James S. Wadsworth," 
by the Hon. Lewis F. Allen. 

He also communicated, for the acceptance of the 
Society, a copy of the " Proceedings of the Century 
Association in memory of Brigadier-General James S. 
Wadsworth and Col. Peter A. Porter, Dec. 3, 1864," 
presented by Martin Brimmer, Esq. ; also a copy of a 
" Memorial of Major Edward Granville Park," by his 
father, the Hon. John C. Park, — a gift of the author. 

Proper acknowledgments were directed to be made 
for these gifts. 


The Rev. Charles Burroughs, D.D., of Portsmouth, 
a Corresponding Member, being present, communicated 
to the Society a deed, from Robert Tufton Mason to 
Elizabeth Beck, of land in New Hampshire, dated the 
28th of April, 1686. He also presented, after having 
read, two letters of "Mary Pepperrell" to her husband, 
Sir William Pepperrell; one dated October 9th, 1740, 
the other September 22nd, 1749, both from "Kittery." 

Dr. Burroughs also presented a volume, written by 
himself, being "A. Tribute to the Memory of Com- 
mander John Collins Long, of the United-States Navy." 

Mr. W. G. Brooks presented four broadside proc- 
lamations of Provincial Governors of Massachusetts, — 
one of Governor Pownall, dated October 13th, 1759, 
appointing the 25th instant as a day of public thanks- 
giving; one of Governor Pownall, dated 24th March, 
1760, appointing the 3d of April for a general fast, on 
account of a destructive fire in the town of Boston, on the 
20th of March ; one of Governor Bernard, appointing 
the 7th of October, 1762, as a day of thanksgiving; 
and one of Lieutenant-Governor Hutchinson, appoint- 
ing the 18th of April as a day of fasting and prayer. 

Mr. Hale exhibited a number of Duchesne's models 
of public and private buildings in Boston, made some- 
time during the years 1812-1816. 

The President presented copies of the following letters, 
written by the Marquis of Buckingham, and addressed to 
Sir John Temple, His Majesty's Consul-general to the 
United States, residing in New York. The recent death 
of Lord Palmer ston, who was of the family of Temple, 
had given occasion to renewed investigations of the 


Temple pedigree, and particularly of the old Baron- 
etcy of Stowe. One of these letters contained the an- 
nouncement that the title to that Baronetcy had devolved 
upon the son-in-law of Governor Bowdoin. All the 
letters were among the Bowdoin Papers in his posses- 
sion : — 

Marquis of Buckingham to Sir John Temple. 

Dear Sir, — Your letter of the 31st July reached Stowe after I 
had left it, and was forwarded to me here. I conceive myself just in 
time to answer it before you embark. I am sorry that you have not 
obtained that title which seems to me really essential to the object of 
your mission, and which I hiow that Mr. Pitt considered in the same 
light. I conceive, therefore, that His Majesty must be hampered by 
some engagements for the same honor, which it may not be expedient 
to gratify at present. This is only a suggestion ; but it is what occurs 
to me upon a point which ought not to have been matter of conversation 
for five minutes. 

I receive with much satisfaction the news of Mr. Bowdoin's election 
to the chair of the Massachusetts State, as I have much confidence in 
the cool and steady integrity of that respectable gentleman: public 
confidence in such a character was never more requisite, than in this 
moment. You know my opinions upon a commercial intercourse be- 
tween Great Britain and America. I must ever think we are unwise, 
if we expect a useful trade with the United States, till we have opened 
to them some medium of remittance. What that is to be is indeed 
matter of very serious doubt ; and I have no difficulty in saying, that 
the disgraceful scenes of violence which have taken place in some parts 
of that continent do not seem likely to conciliate that cool and tem- 
perate disposition which alone can procure the happy consequences 
which I so seriously wish. As to a treaty of commerce, I have seen 
nothing to change my opinions upon the inefficacy and inexpediency of 
it. I never knew one attended with the advantages proposed by the 
contracting parties ; and in every instance they are certain seeds of fraud 
and discord. America has, as Mr. Bowdoin observes, the undoubted 
right of regulating her commerce, and even of giving a preference to 
any nation who will purchase it by treaty, or by reciprocal advantages. 
Hitherto she has almost universally laid a heavy impost on British com- 
modities in favor of all other nations. I am yet to learn what advan- 


tage she has derived from such a system ; and she must know that (after 
time has been given for hot minds to cool) Great Britain can more 
easily afford to lose the direct trade to the United States than they 
can : for it is plain that in this country restrictive laws can be enforced, 
and it is equally certain that in America every argument which has 
ever been used to show the inexpediency and impracticability of such a 
system applies to the utmost advantage, when it is considered that we 
retain Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and the 
Bahamas as the certain objects for our illicit commerce, which I will 
venture to say may be insured into any port of your continent at a less 
premium than the duty of five per cent, now laid upon them. But the 
war of duties is of all others the most odious, and ultimately the most 
ruinous. I will hope for a real union of interests, and for reciprocal 
good offices to each other ; but the difference hitherto has not been 
(allow me to say) favorable to the national character of America ; for 
the British trader carried his effects to your ports under the faith of 
nations, and under the protection of a system of commerce which was 
understood to be reciprocally open. In so doing, he took no unfair ad- 
vantage, nor did our Government mark to America any exclusive 
restraint, when we put her on the same footing with all other foreign 
nations who traded with us or with our islands. On the other hand, 
particular restraints, particular legal difficulties, and particular duties, 
have been applied through every State, as the system under which they 
mean to admit the British trade, and consequently as the system under 
which they reasonably expect to see their own admitted into the 
English ports. Much remains to be done upon all these subjects ; and 
although I am happy to see that State in which your connections lie, 
more immediately in the hands of a character so respectable as Mr. 
Bowdoin's, yet perhaps I may for his sake wish that he had suffered 
another year to pass over; as I am convinced that nothing but ex- 
perience can bring back the mind of America to cool reflection from the 
intoxication which her independence has given to her. The hour of 
our national insolence is gone by, and I trust that we have profited by 
the lesson of adversity. That of America yet hangs over her ; and, un- 
less I am greatly deceived, she must inevitably drink deep of that bitter 
cup, if the wisdom of her councils do not interfere to check materially 
the popular frenzy and violence. The corruption of France, the resent- 
ment and antipathy towards Britain, the jealousy of each other, and 
above all the national weakness of America, must all operate to con- 
sequences most certain and most obvious. In all this, however, my 


dear Sir, your path is clear, either as a public or private man. I do 
not know your instructions ; but I know it is not for the policy, the 
honor, or the interest of that power whom you are there to represent, to 
interfere in the domestic differences of America : but, at the same time, 
it is necessary that she should know, that our interests are less in her 
power than, in the moments of her frenzy, she may imagine. I have 
now only to add my sincere wishes for you and yours ; for the success 
of your undertaking, so far as it may contribute to your credit or to 
your character; and to assure you that I am with great truth and 
regard, dear Sir, your very faithful and obedient servant, 

Nugent Buckingham. 
Margate, July 8, 1785. 

P. S. — I have this moment received advice from a correspondent at 
Minorca, that the " Kingfisher " sloop-of-war was arrived from Algiers, 
with news of their peace with Spain ; and that the Dey of Algiers 
had, on the 13th of July, declared war in form against America; and 
that, on the 14th, twelve frigates, equipped by him for the Spanish 
war, had sailed to cruise in the Bay and elsewhere for all American 
ships ; and notice of this declaration of war had been sent to all their 
corsairs who were out. Tunis and Morocco had already declared war 
against America. 

Be so good as to let me hear from you under cover to Lord Car- 
marthen's office. 

Marquis of Buckingham to Sir John Temple. 

Stowe, Sept. 2, 1786. 
Dear Sir, — Having lately returned from a long tour into the West 
of England, I have not had an opportunity of thanking you for the con- 
tinuation of your very interesting correspondence. My letter of May 
last will have explained to you my ideas upon the situation of the 
commercial and national situation of the United States. The difficul- 
ties of carrying on a correspondence upon nice points across the Atlan- 
tic prevented me from saying much more than what was clear to the 
comprehension of any man; but every account from you, and every 
mail, confirms me in those opinions that their present form of federal 
government is wholly unfit for the purposes of peace or war, and that 
some convulsion must sooner or later do that which wisdom and mod- 
eration cannot guide. Every hour will add to her distress ; and every 
adjudication of those courts, which have so grossly violated the first 
principles of justice, with respect to debts contracted since the peace, 
and of national faith, with regard to those secured by the treaty, has 


tended to weaken the confidence of the merchant, and consequently 
to raise upon the American consumer the price of those goods which 
she must take from Europe, and consequently from England, either 
directly or through other nations. This system, so weakly aimed at 
England and so fatally operating upon themselves, began before you 
sailed ; and you remember how exactly we agreed upon the probable 
consequences of it. Different circumstances have accumulated to in- 
crease those difficulties, in proportion as the prosperity of Great Britain, 
rising beyond the wildest speculations of fancy, has enabled us to take 
steps for securing to ourselves, and to our remaining colonies those 
advantages to which America owed her strength and resources. That 
measure, however fatally it may operate upon her trade, is (as is clear 
to every inquisitive mind) but half complete ; and very much remains 
to be done if America persists in her wild war of prohibitions and 
impotent restrictions. Have any of their governors weighed the con- 
sequences to the United States of this commercial treaty which France 
is known to press with the most earnest attention, and to which it is 
hoped a very speedy conclusion may take place? If Spain joins in 
the same treaty, are there not possible consequences which America 
may foresee well worthy her attention ? And yet, my dear Sir, I will 
prophesy that the crisis of her frenzy is not yet arrived ; but that she 
will wait till bankruptcy, political as well as individual, has taught her 
that, in the moment in which she rejected Great Britain as a parent, 
it was essential to her existence to court us as the most valuable and 
the most natural friends. In the mean time, her West India trade, 
either to our islands or those of France and Spain, whose orders are 
more peremptory even than ours, is gone ; her fisheries almost anni- 
hilated, except for home consumption, and even these rivalled in her ■ 
own markets ; her Mediterranean and Southern trade commanded almost 
entirely by the Barbary powers ; and her imposts to Great Britain ex- 
posed to the possibility of severe retaliation of prohibitory duties, 
which may be enforced here, and never can in America. You will 
have known before this, that the two deputies commissioned to treat 
with Algiers have returned from thence re infectd, and indeed the event 
of the embassy might have been foreseen ; for even if Algiers had ac- 
cepted the tribute which she demanded, every other Barbary power, 
viz., Morocco, Tunis, and the Bey of Constantine, would have cov- 
ered the cruisers, and America would have daily found some new flag, 
which she would be compelled to crush by force or to buy. The 
state of our public credit must almost appear romance to those re- 


moved from the scene of action ; it has gone beyond the most sanguine 
imagination ; and the only fact which seems certain is, that it has not 
yet found its pitch. The stocks may, in some slight degree, continue 
liable to the little fluctuation which the tricks of jobbers, and the inex- 
plicable management in the alley, may produce ; but the operation of 
the annual million which is daily employed in pouring money into the 
market, and in withdrawing that fluctuating stock, will have raised our 
credit, by this double effect, to an extent of which it is not yet easy to 
see the limits. The recent death of the King of Prussia gives a strong 
proof of their solidity ; for, although it is more than probable that this 
event may have a very serious and a very rapid effect upon the poli- 
tics of Europe, they have barely appeared to feel it, and are now 
higher than immediately before that event. To this picture of national 
prosperity the language of party can add nothing, nor can it detract 
from it ; the proofs are in the hands of every one : but this should be 
known where they may furnish a useful lesson of the benefit arising 
from government, industry, and unimpeached integrity in national as 
well as individual engagements. 

To this, my dear Sir, I have very little to add, except that I have 
gradually recovered my health, so as to be at ease from the alarms 
which I expressed to you in my last letter. Your situation, though 
possibly unpleasant from political considerations, is, I hope, perfectly 
eligible to you from the health and comfort of your family. New 
York was in former times one of the most eligible places of residence 
on your continent : how far the Revolution, by changing the relative 
situations of individuals, has altered the general manners, I have not 
heard ; but, from general accounts, it seems preferable to any other city 
in America. My time is employed in society and in amusements, con- 
tinuing the same earnest wishes for the success of the King's govern- 
ment, and for my own personal repose ; yet I cannot avoid speculating 
upon political subjects, particularly if they are interesting to the credit 
and character of those to whom I wish well. From this consideration 
I have thought much upon American politics, being with great regard, 
and with every good wish towards you, dear sir, your very faithful and 
obedient servant, Nugent Buckingham, 

The Marquis of Buckingham to Sir John Temple. 

Stowe, Dec. 3, 1786. 
Dear Sir, — By the address upon this letter you will have learnt 
that you are in possession of a rank which you so much wished. I 



should, in consequence of your letter, which I received by the Novem- 
ber packet, have earnestly pressed for that mark of distinction from 
His Majesty ; but our worthy kinsman, Sir Richard Temple, who 
died only in the preceding week, and having left no issue, the title 
devolves upon you, as heir male to Sir Peter Temple, my great-great- 
grandfather, and your great-grandfather. I have taken care to notify 
this to Lord Carmarthen, in order that you may be acknowledged as 
baronet in his addresses to you, which is the only mode in which it is 
ever done ; and I trust that you will do credit to one of the oldest titles 
now extant in the baronetage, and one that has never been disgraced 
by any of the many generations through which it has passed. I know 
that a great mind wishes to rest its pretensions upon its own merit, 
rather than upon those of an ancestry, however illustrious ; but the 
policy of all governments has annexed a respectability to the descend- 
ants of those who have deserved well from their country. And perhaps 
it may seem contradictory to the spirit of republicanism, but in fact 
in no government has this system been more generally admitted to 
its utmost extent than in the purest times of the Greek and Roman 
Republics, and of those of more modern date in Europe. In every 
point of view, then, I am truly glad of your accession to this heredi- 
tary title, in preference to one of more modern date. 

You are very good in pressing me so much upon the subject of 
my picture. I came to town so late last winter, in consequence 
of my long and dangerous illness, and left it so soon, being ordered to 
Bath, that I did not give Mr. Trumbull a sitting. However, upon 
my return to town, I will take care that it shall be finished. I have 
given the King's picture to my corporation of Buckingham, so that I 
fear that I cannot gratify your wishes : however, I will endeavor ; but 
in that case I do not know who your agent is here, to whom I am to 
deliver it. However, if I do not find him out, I must trust it to some 
trader, if I can get it for you. 

Your picture of the present state of the United States does not 
belie my prophecy. It was easy to foresee this scene ; the solu- 
tion to it is not so obvious. A few months will bring part of these 
questions to issue, by the failure of their pecuniary engagements to 
France, Spain, and Holland. I think I have reason to believe that 
the first will not be trifled with, and that America will find her con- 
fidence in the forbearance of France misplaced. The change of her 
politics and opinions as to the United States, her disappointment in 
the expectations which she had formed from the American commerce, 


and, above all, the difficult state of the French finances (for in this 
year they have borrowed six millions sterling, and have only paid off 
two millions), are the probable causes which have induced their deter- 
mination. I do not believe that they will even temporize, but they 
certainly will not give up interest or principal. In Holland the case 
is very different. The loan was raised, not from the public fund, but 
from the purses of individuals ; and France is bound for it. You will 
therefore see most clearly that these Dutch speculators will have 
their money ; and I fancy that the most sanguine American does not 
expect that France will help them in this business. There is a report 
that France has thrown out the idea of a cession of Rhode Island to 
her in discharge of this debt, or to be held in the same manner as the 
cautionary towns were delivered by the Dutch to Queen Elizabeth. 
These ideas are possibly floating only at present, but they exist, and 
perhaps are not known in America. In the midst of this scene of 
anarchy, misrule, and bankruptcy, both public and private, it is for 
the wisdom, interest, and dignity of Great Britain, to preserve not 
only the strictest neutrality, but even to guard against the appearance 
of intermeddling with the internal arrangements of America ; but, in 
doing this, I do not believe that any consideration will induce us to 
give way upon the subject of our new navigation act, the blessings of 
which we now feel in the hourly aggrandizement of our commerce 
and our navigation. This new commercial treaty with France stands 
upon grounds so singularly advantageous to us, that we are in a situ- 
ation to laugh at the commercial restrictions of European powers, 
and much more so to those of America, whose ports, from local circum- 
stances, must be exposed, and whose consumption must be secured to 
us in all articles where we can undersell the foreign merchant. And 
I do not apprehend that America will find her own manufactures or 
revenue much improved by the only operation of her restrictive laws, 
which, if they are enforced, can only drive us to export our goods 
circuitously through a French port. These considerations, urged 
upon us by the petulant and almost contemptible jealousy of America, 
must throw aside every idea of a nearer conciliation at present. She 
has not yet recovered from her intoxication of independence ; and as 
she has chosen the lesson of experience instead of that which she 
might have collected from reason, policy, and dispassionate disqui- 
sition, she must expect the usual consequences of that lesson, always 
unpleasant, but perhaps ultimately the safest in proportion to the 
impression which their distresses must make. In the meantime, we 


will look with pride and satisfaction at the state of this kingdom. 
After funding thirty millions in the two last years, our commerce and 
shipping has increased with an elasticity proportioned only to their 
depression during the war. Our tonnage of shipping is increased one- 
eighth beyond the state of the united shipping of Great Britain and 
of her colonies in 1774. Our manufacturers are unable to execute 
the orders poured upon them from all quarters of Europe. The 
exchange, already ten per cent, in our favor, is hourly rising. Our 
revenue has paid off one million of our debt in nine months ; and our 
prospects of peace are secured to us by these treaties of commerce, 
which are extending themselves to Spain, Portugal, and Russia. 

I have given you this general state of our situation, because you 
probably receive your accounts of us in America through a jealous 
or gloomy medium. I have not gone beyond the strict line of fact in 
this description of our internal prosperity, nor have I been as san- 
guine as those who are immediately conversant with those subjects. 
The funds had risen to a medium of interest paying three and three- 
fourths per cent. This commercial treaty, by increasing the demand 
of money, has lowered them, as our various trades have run wild in 
every species of purchase for the French market ; but the credit 
given is so very short, that a few months will probably make a very 
sensible alteration in their value. But you will remember that, when 
you left England, Mr. Pitt was funding by raising money at seven 
per cent ; and he may now command any sum he pleases, for paying 
Exchequer bills, at three per cent. In this situation, we may yet 
rejoice that we are English ; and, leaving to America the blessings, 
real or imaginary, of her independence, let us comfort ourselves in 
the reflection, that four years have now shown that the most fortunate 
moment for Great Britain was that in which she bought her peace by 
the separation in commercial as well as political relations to the pro- 
vinces of America. I do not in this mean to speak the language of 
resentment. I voted for the American War, because I thought our 
claim well founded ; I deprecated the acknowledgment of her inde- 
pendence, as a measure big with ruin to this country ; and experience 
has shown me the weakness of my opinions, by pointing out to me 
the commercial greatness of Great Britain, notwithstanding this sep- 
aration, and in many points actually rising in consequence of it. 

I have now troubled you too long ; and will only detain you to ob- 
serve, that your letter does not acknowledge either of the two which I 
have written to you in the present year. The last was sent to Lord 


Carmarthen's office ; and I shall give this to the same conveyance, as 
I have reason, from many circumstances, to doubt the safety of any 
other channel of communication. I hope that you and your family 
are well ; and, with very many thanks for all your various commu- 
nications and enclosures, which have reached me safely, I remain, 
dear sir, your very faithful and obedient servant, 

Nugent Buckingham. 

P.S. — I forgot to tell you that Bath has restored me to a degree of 
health which I had not felt for these four years. 

The Marquis of Buckingham to Sir John Temple. 

Pall Mall, Loxdon, 4th Oct., 1787. 
The present conjuncture of affairs is so critical and full of anxious 
expectation, as to hush for a time the spirit of speculation and con- 
jecture, and to fix the political eye in deep attention on the conduct 
of two great powers, — the French and the Austrians. A strict league, 
cemented by the bonds of affinity, has for some time united France and 
Austria, after they had been divided, by hostilities and animosities, for 
a period of little less than three centuries. But this amity between 
rival powers, it was easy to foresee, and has in fact been predicted by 
every political observer, was sooner or later to be shaken and over- 
turned by some of those accidents that are perpetually changing the 
face of the world. The period of its duration seems now to be com- 
pleted : France is politically attached both to the Hollanders and the 
Turks, and the Emperor is hostile to both. Can the Imperialists and 
the French draw the sword against each other on one side the Danube, 
and cordially embrace on the other ? It will be as difficult for his 
Imperial Majesty to make a distinction between a Frenchman in the 
Crimea and a Frenchman within the dominions of the Grande Mo- 
narque, as it is to separate, in his sentiments and mind, the King of 
Great Britain from the Elector of Hanover. With regard to the 
hostility of the Emperor to the Dutch Republic, it is true that he has 
equal cause of animosity against the Family of Orange ; but, in the 
first place, it is not the interest of the Imperial Court, in the present 
moment, to exhibit an example of successful rebellion in one-half of 
the Belgic provinces, while his own subjects, which form the other half, 
are in a state of commotion, and almost actual insurrection. It is time 
now for kings and princes to know the power of example, which will 
be found, on an enlarged and philosophical view, in reality to govern 
mankind. In the second place, if, in the present contest, the fortune of 


the Hollanders should prevail against that of the Prince of Orange, 
the whole maritime force of the republic would be eventually thrown 
into the scale of France ; which, with that of Spain (should that Court 
be again successfully practised upon), would render the maritime 
power of the House of Bourbon the first in the world ! It is im- 
possible, therefore, that such an event should be contemplated by the 
Emperor without jealousy and alarm ! Accordingly it may be concluded 
that he will favor the Stadtholder, if France should take an active part 
against him. Whether she will do this or not is the grand point in 
question, and which the recent irruption of the Prussians into the 
territories of the United Provinces must soon determine. In the 
mean time, it is hardly of moment (in a matter that must so soon be 
decided) to reason concerning the effects which the present discontents 
and pretensions, avowed by the friends of liberty in France, may pro- 
duce in the councils of that Government respecting war or peace. It 
is evident, that, as self-preservation is the first law of nature, the 
French Court will be naturally inclined to divert that high spirit 
which pervades their nation from a spirit of internal reform to foreign 
attacks, and to convert animosity against the abettors of tyranny into 
national pride and the point of military honor. But disordered finan- 
ces on the other hand, and a wish to give effectual succor to the Grand 
Signior, may dispose them to accommodate matters in Holland for the 
present ; while, by continued intrigues, they encourage their party and 
prepare for future hostilities on some more favorable occasion. While 
I am now employed in expressing these sentiments, intelligence is said 
to have arrived that the Prussian army hath not only reduced 
Utrecht, with many other towns, but also the city of Amsterdam, the 
strength of the United Provinces ! If this be so, the French will have 
a pretext either for peace or war. On the one hand, the irruption of 
the Prussians holds out the imposing plea of relief to the oppressed, 
if they are disposed to hazard an appeal to arms ; on the other, the 
dastardly cowardice of the Dutch patriots will afford ground of excuse 
to the French, if they should not. For how are the Hollanders to 
expect the French will fight for a people that shrink at the first ap- 
proach of real danger, and will not defend themselves ? Courage and 
constancy find support ; the timid and irresolute (deserted by their 
very friends) are usually abandoned to their fate. It was not until the 
brave ancestors of these degenerate Dutch presented an intrepid front, 
and proved their resolution (by multiplied acts of active and passive 
courage), that they were assisted by Queen Elizabeth and Henry the 


Fourth. It was not until the Americans had taken that scribbling gen- 
eral (Bourgoyne) with his army prisoners that they were assisted to any 
purpose by the French. If the Hollanders yet show determined courage, 
then and then only may they expect succor from their new allies. 

It is thought, and on probable grounds, that there is a secret com- 
pact among the Prussians, the Emperor, and the French ; the general 
object of which is to support each other's pretensions where they are 
in any degree reasonable, and do not interfere with one another. But 
the most immediate and particular view is the partition of the Turkish 
dominions in Europe. This great object will sufficiently explain that 
breach of faith which, if we may judge from present appearances, is in- 
tended, on the part of the French, towards their Batavian confederates. 

It is become evident, almost to demonstration, that, in the late com- 
mercial treaty, the Court of France was not sincere, and that it had 
nothing so much in view as to lull the English nation into the slumber 
of peace, and the pleasant intoxication of temporary gain. They con- 
tinued to build ships of war ; they formed new harbors ; they fomented 
such divisions in Holland as might, in the end, give the influence of 
France a decided and permanent superiority in the councils of that 
republic ; and they entered into a close alliance with tlie Imperialists 
and the Russians. All these circumstances were intended as a prepara- 
tion for a new attack on Great Britain, either in the East or West 
Indies, or both. It was not indeed to be expected that success in the 
cabinet and field (caused by the late American contest) would cease to 
produce its usual effects in the most ambitious and the most volatile 
nation in Europe. If the internal discontents in France and the firm 
conduct of Great Britain and Prussia should reduce the French to the 
necessity of temporising in the present juncture of affairs, yet still we 
ought to keep constantly on our guard ; their ambitious views are only 
suspended, not abandoned. The British sovereign, court, and nation 
seem to be unanimous in opinion that the Stadtholder should be sup- 
ported ; and this obvious wise policy deserves commendation. If, how- 
ever, we must draw the sword, let us beware of the conditions on which 
we sheath it. Great Britain depends for prosperity on her public 
credit ; the disease that threatens her dissolution is the accumulation 
of the public debt. To aggravate and precipitate this morbid distem- 
per, by entangling us in constant wars, is the inhuman policy of the 
Court of France, which, in this game of blood, she can play at less 
expense than Great Britain, and with less risk. Of what avail are 
the pitiful savings of a few years of peace, if a new war is to swallow 


up, in its ensanguined vortex, our sinking fund ? As we wisely imi- 
tate the conduct of the great opposer of French ambition, King 
William, in the spirited preparations now on foot for the support of the 
Stadtholder, let us imitate him also in his enlarged and profound views, 
in forming alliances and opposing art to art. It may be questioned 
whether English councils were guided by the soundest policy when we 
formed that new alliance in Germany, which determined Austria to 
depart from her ancient system, and to enter into an intimate union 
with a power that had successfully opposed her for near three centuries ? 
In this refined and enlightened age, it is essential for politicians to 
counteract the designs of refined ambition, by uniting the minds of 
princes in the defence of justice. If we sit down quietly (as some 
of our statesmen advise), and apply ourselves wholly to the fabrication 
of manufactures, we may certainly grow rich ; but we shall lose the 
political and military spirit ; we shall become effeminate ; and some 
warlike nation will sweep away our accumulated wealth, — just as we 
drain the treasures from the manufactures of India, and as the Prus- 
sians may now make themselves masters of the thirty millions sterling 
deposited in the Bank of Amsterdam ! It is undoubtedly the policy 
of Great Britain to detach the emperor from his French alliance, by 
assisting him to recover Franche Compte, Alsace, Lorraine, and other 
territories wrested from his ancestors in the Low Countries. The 
French must now be effectually checked and brought [to] reason ; other- 
wise, they will continue to distress and harrass their peaceful neighbors 
by the rage of their restless ambition. With regard to the Austrian 
Netherlands, the late insurrection at Brussels proves the insidious 
policy of the emperor, who, after repeated declarations of moderate 
and just designs, manifestly discovered an intention of slipping the yoke 
of slavery over a generous people. But their political wisdom and 
foresight yet remain to be proved, by some arrangements that will 
secure their liberties, against the sudden attacks of a restless and am- 
bitious sovereign, who has discovered a desire of reducing them under 
obedience, even by stratagems and conspiracies. 

Thus have I hastily given you my sentiments on the present state 
of affairs on this side the water. A few days or hours may, however, 
change perhaps the whole complexion of them ; which continues us in 
anxious expectation for the result of Mr. Grenville's negotiation. With 
regard to America, we have had no interesting accounts of late, nor 
hath any thing yet reached us concerning the deliberations of the con- 
vention assembled at Philadelphia. 

1866.] MARCH MEETING. 81 


A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day, Thursday, March 8, at eleven o'clock, a.m. ; 
the President in the chair. 

The Librarian announced donations from the Com- 
monwealth of Massachusetts ; the American Antiqua- 
rian Society ; the Essex Institute ; the Massachusetts 
Horticultural Society; the Mercantile -Library Company 
of Philadelphia ; the New-England Loyal Publication 
Society ; the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and Na- 
tural History; the Publisher of "The Right Way"; 
John Appleton, M.D. ; Henry B. Dawson, Esq. ; Elias 
Hasket Derby, Esq. ; Eev. Thomas Hill, D,D. ; Hon. 
Samuel Hooper ; Eranklin B. Hough, M.D. ; Benjamin 
P. Johnson, Esq. ; Joel Munsell, Esq. ; Mrs. William 
Parsons ; Frederick W. Seward, Esq. ; J. B. Trembley, 
M.D. ; J. Baxter Upham, M.D. ; Mrs. Joseph E. Wor- 
cester ; and from Messrs. Adams, E. B. Bigelow, W. G. 
Brooks, Green, Latham, Lawrence, Metcalf, C. Robbins, 
Webb, and Winthrop, of the Society. 

A communication was received from the Hon. Charles 
W. Upham, of Salem, soliciting the favor of inspecting 
and copying, to the extent that he may desire, the 
Witchcraft Papers, presented to the Society by the late 
N. I. Bowditch. Mr. Upham states that he is preparing 
a new edition of his work on the " Salem Witchcraft." 

Leave was granted under the rules. 



The President communicated, as a gift from Arthur 
Amory, Esq., the " Pocket Almanack " of J. & T. Fleet, 
for the year 1779. It had once belonged to "Charles 
Ap thorp " (whose name it bears), and contains some 
manuscript notes. 

The thanks of the Society were voted to Mr. Amory 
for the gift, which was referred to the Committee on the 
publication of the Proceedings. 

Messrs. Thayer, Lawrence, and E. B. Bigelow were 
appointed a Committee to examine the Treasurer's ac- 

Messrs. Solomon Lincoln, H. Gray, jun., and Endi- 
cott, were appointed to nominate a list of officers to be 
presented at the next annual meeting. 

The President exhibited a copperplate engraving of a 
design of Dupre's Medal of General Greene, afterwards 
struck at the mint in Paris for the Government of the 
United States. The design was published in the " Jour- 
nal Polytype des Sciences et des Arts," for the year 
1787, Vol. i., p. 22* 

The President then introduced Mr. George W. Greene, 
of Rhode Island, a corresponding member, who read a 
paper on General Greene in connection with the Ameri- 
can Army before Boston, at the time of the " Siege " ; 
this paper forming a chapter in Mr. Greene's Life of 
his grandfather, General Greene, in the preparation of 
which the author has made considerable progress. 

Dr. Walker announced the Memoir of Mr. Quincy 
as having been completed by him. 

* For an account of this medal, see Dr. Mease's description of American 
medals in 3 Mass. Hist. Coll., vol. iv. p. 306. 


C/?V c¥c 


i ■ a 





Edmund Quincy, the emigrant ancestor of the Quincy family 
in this country, came from Achurch, Northamptonshire, Eng- 
land. He arrived here Sept. 4, 1633, in the same vessel with 
the Rev. John Cotton, and several laymen "of good estate." 

His descendants have not been numerous; but,as many of 
them were educated men and in public life, the name has 
always been distinguished. Josiah Quincy, jun., so called be- 
cause he died in the lifetime of his father, and because his 
name thus written is indissolubly associated with the early 
struggles which led to American Independence, was of the 
fifth generation. He was then a young lawyer in Boston, 
rapidly rising into note. Of an ardent temperament, jealous 
for the rights and liberties of the Colonies, bold, eloquent, 
incorruptible, he was eminently fitted to become a leader in 
the impending Revolution. He was married, in October, 1769, 
to Abigail Phillips, the eldest daughter of William Phillips, 
one of the most distinguished and successful of the Boston 
merchants of that day. They resided in Washington (then 
Marlborough) Street, nearly opposite the old Province House, 
where was born, Feb. 4, 1772, their son Josiah, the subject of 
the following memoir. 


In the autumn of 1774, the father embarked for England, 
in the hope of serving his country abroad, and at the same 
time recruiting his own health, which had begun to give way 
under the pressure of professional and public cares. The 
first part of this hope was fulfilled, but not the second ; he 
died on his passage home, April 26, 1775, only a few hours 
before the ship entered the harbor of Gloucester. The battle 
of Lexington had taken place in the preceding week; Boston 
was occupied by the British troops, and all intercourse with 
the country suspended. For this reason, the inhabitants of 
Gloucester proceeded to bury him with such marks of respect 
as the times would permit.* Everywhere, as a cotemporary 
tells us, " the multitude of the people were his mourners ; " 
and he is still remembered with that peculiar interest which 
attaches to a proto-martyr, especially when, as in this case, he 
is cut off in the midst of a career of great promise. 

On sailing from Boston, eight months before, he had left 
his wife in charge of the family, which then consisted of a 
son and a daughter. She had remained in town for some 
time after its military occupation by General Gage, being 
detained by the dangerous illness of both of these children. 
The daughter died April 13 ; after which, with her son, she 
hastened to join her parents, who, in the distracted state of 
the country in and about Boston, had retired to Norwich, in 
Connecticut. Here she received the intelligence of her hus- 
band's death, — a great sorrow, which cast its shadow over 
her whole subsequent life. All the accounts of this lady 
which have come down to us, represent her as being one of 
the most esteemed and attractive persons in the elevated 
circle in which she moved. But the heart of the young 
widowed mother was never weaned from its first love. " She 
survived her husband three and twenty years ; his fame and 
memory being the chief solace of her life, and the perfect 

* His remains were afterwards removed to the burial-ground in Quincy. 


fulfilment of parental duty to their surviving child, its only 

With this child, who had then just completed his third 
year, she continued to make part of her father's family, not 
only during his stay at Norwich, but after his return to 
Boston, until her son entered college. It was probably the 
circumstance that she thus had no proper home of her own, 
which made her less averse to placing him at a public school 
at the early age of six. Other things also conspired to recom- 
mend the step. The school proposed was Phillips Academy, 
in Andover, which her uncle and her cousin of that place, 
with the assistance of her father, had just founded. There he 
would always be near, and under the constant supervision of, 
those relatives ; and there, also, the mother, in her frequent 
visits to them, would have opportunity to watch over his pro- 
gress. The Academy was first opened April 30, 1778; and 
young Quincy was admitted early in the following month, his 
name standing the twenty-seventh on its roll. 

During the eight years of his connection with that sem- 
inary, he boarded with the clergyman of the parish, the Rev. 
Mr. French. Such were the kindnesses and indulgences he 
there met with, that, in after-life, he always looked back 
on the Andover parsonage as a second home, and indeed as 
the only real home of his boyhood. f But, as might be pre- 
sumed from the extreme youth of the pupil, things did not 
get on so well for some time in the school-room. The pre- 
ceptor was Eliphalet Pearson, afterwards a professor in Har- 
vard College, and at a later period in Andover Theological 
Institution, — a strict and vigorous disciplinarian of the old 
regime. Mr. Quincy, in a letter written not many years 
before his death, gives the following account of the methods 
adopted by this teacher, and of their effect on himself: — 

* " Memoir of the Life of Josiah Quincy, jun., by his Son," p. 29. 
t For a full account of his obligations to the family, see Mr. Quincy's letter to Dr. 
Sprague, in "Annals of the American Pulpit," vol. ii. pp. 44-48. 


" He had the confidence of the parents and the public from his 
thoroughness. No boy was permitted to learn B, before he was per- 
fect in all the relations of A. I was a great hand at marbles, and 
hunting the striped squirrel from the Academy to the parsonage ; but, 
as to hunting down the pages of Cheever's Accidence, then our first 
book, I had neither will nor power. But there was the rule, — you 
must be perfect in it. I was kept in that book the whole of my 
seventh, and part of my eighth, year, until it was odious to me ; and 
even now the very name of Cheever is, to my imagination, something 
of an ogre. Dr. Pearson's discipline was strict and severe, and, though 
naturally of a kind temperament, he governed by fear. It was the 
fashion of the time, imported from England, and thought to be essen- 
tial to the advancement of learning. Dr. Pearson was a full convert 
to it, and an expert practitioner. I must be excused from writing on 
this point, as it would compel me renovare dolores. But, though a 
great sufferer under the ancient system of discipline, I must say it had 
some advantages over the modern." 

The boy's progress in his studies for two or three years 
being slow, his teacher advised his mother to give up the 
plan of sending him to college. Happily for him, and happily 
for the College, she was not so easily discouraged. In due 
time, the natural development of his faculties, and of his char- 
acteristic energy and determination to succeed, began to put 
him in better relations with his books. A few months before 
he left the Academy, Dr. Pearson was called to a professor- 
ship at Cambridge ; his place as preceptor being supplied by 
Dr. Ebenezer Pemberton, an experienced teacher of much 
repute in those days.* Under the instructions of this gen- 
tleman, he completed his preparatory course, and entered 
Harvard College in 1786, at the age of fourteen. There he 
immediately took a high position as a scholar, and, though 
one of the youngest in the class, graduated, in 1790, with its 
first honors. 

* Ebenezer Pemberton, LL.D., grandson of the Old South pastor of the same 
name, had received his education in the College of New Jersey, and had been a teacher 
in that colony. President Madison and Aaron Burr are said to have been among his 
early pupils. 


Immediately after graduating, he began the study of law 
in the office of the Hon. William Tudor, then a leading mem- 
ber of the Boston bar. His mother, as already intimated, had 
taken a house of her own when he entered college, that he 
might have an independent home in his vacations. The house 
was in Court Street, on ground now occupied by Tudor's 
Building. She resided there until after he had become a 
student at law, and then removed to a house in Federal 
Street, the site of which, with the garden, is now Sullivan 
Place. Soon afterward she established herself in a more 
spacious and eligible mansion, situated on the corner of Pearl 
and High Streets, which her father purchased in 1792 of 
the executors of Mr. Merchant ; and there she continued to 
reside until her death. Meanwhile her son had completed 
his legal studies in the summer of 1793, and was admitted to 
the bar. At the Commencement in the same year, he also 
took his second degree at Harvard; and, according to a cus- 
tom of that day, delivered what was then called "The Mas- 
ters' Oration," his subject being "The Ideal Superiority of 
the Present Age in Literature and Politics. " 

Mr. Quincy was now twenty-one. His education, both 
academical and professional, had been accomplished, not only 
creditably, but with distinction ; his family connections placed 
him at once in the best society, and he was looked upon as 
a young man of large expectations ; to all which must be 
added, a handsome person, fall of life and health. Yet it was 
at this age and in these circumstances that we find him lay- 
ing down for himself a strict and almost stoical rule of life and 
duty. " It is not," he writes to a classmate, soon after they 
had left college, " it is not the natural brilliancy of wit and the 
flashes of imagination (which, by the world, is denominated 
genius) that are, in my opinion, to be envied. It is firmness 
of nerve, — that strength of mind which capacitates us for in- 
tense application and hard, laborious attention, — which is the 
soil where every laurel and every virtue is cultivated with 


success." He affixed to his study-table, that it might be con- 
tinually before his eyes, the following epigraph from Cicero : 
Prceclare Socrates hanc viam ad gloriam proximam et quasi 
compendiariam dicebat esse ; si quis id ageret, id, qualis haberi 
vellet, talis esset. And, to show how thoroughly his princi- 
ples were carried into effect, a single anecdote will suffice. 
When a young lawyer in Boston, he joined a party who met 
at a fixed hour in the morning to play billiards, for exercise 
and amusement merely. He was fond of the game, and soon 
found he was looking at his watch to see if the appointed 
hour had arrived. This disposition alarmed him; he feared 
he should become too much interested in games of skill or 
chance, and immediately left the party and never met them 
again, notwithstanding the raillery of his associates. 

That such a man would succeed in whatever he seriously 
undertook, was as certain as any thing can be in this world. 
What would have been the degree of his success in the law, 
if he had given himself wholly to it, and continued in it long 
enough to compete for its highest distinctions and rewards, 
we have no means of determining ; for his attention was soon 
called away to politics and public life. He is understood 
to have regretted in after-years the last-mentioned circum- 
stance; but, as it would seem, without reason. He undoubt- 
edly yielded to the promptings of his nature ; and these, 
when distinctly pronounced, are the best guide in such cases. 
And, besides, it is easy to see that his mind, though active on 
all subjects, was better fitted for that kind of activity which 
has to do with affairs, than with that which has to do with 
the settlement of principles and rules, or the investigation of 
truth. Then, too, he was his father's son ; and there was this 
clause in his father's will : u I give to my son, when he shall 
arrive to the age of fifteen years, Algernon Sidney's Works, 
John Locke's Works, Lord Bacon's Works, Gordon's Taci- 
tus, and Cato's Letters. May the spirit of liberty rest upon 
him ! " 


Under these influences, it is not strange that his thoughts 
and his ambition were early turned to the State. Meanwhile 
the community had begun to be agitated by novel and excit- 
ing questions, which threatened, in the opinion of many, the 
stability of our free institutions.* The contested adoption 
of the Constitution by the several States had given rise to 
the Federal and Democratic parties; and the antagonism thus 
occasioned was more and more intensified by the different 
views entertained in this country of the French Revolution, 
as it went on from one excess to another. All Mr. Quincy's 
convictions and tastes and associations inclined him to the 
conservative or Federal side, as representing the American 
idea of liberty, in contradistinction to the French idea of lib- 
erty. And, as it was not his habit to do things by halves or 
with reserves, he at once became an active member of the 
party, and from that time identified its interests with those of 
the whole people, and never wavered in his loyalty to it, 
through good report and through evil report. " To the day 
of his death," as his son has told us, "he professed and called 
himself a Federalist, and nothing else. Though, after the 
dispersion of the Federal party, he voted for the candidates 
of different parties, according to his estimation of their merits, 
he never regarded himself as belonging to any of them, — not 
even to the Republican party of his old age, though he gave 

* As early as 1792, Mr. Quincy wrote to a friend what may now be regarded as 
prophecy. After noticing the disorder and violence attending at that time an election 
in New York, he goes on : " Whether Clinton has the advantage of Jay, or the Chief 
Justice of the Governor, neither you nor I have the materials or the inclination to decide. 
But if such animosity can be excited, such tumults fomented, by a dispute concerning 
the governmental chair of a single State, what will in some future period result from 
passions equally strong, minds in all probability less well-regulated, and numbers im- 
mensely increased, when roused by the claimants of a four-yeai-s' crown, with their 
blood rising in proportion to the dignity and importance of the office; when the South 
shall crown an Eumenes, and the North an Antipater. If such materials so disposed 
do not raise a conflagration, if such opportunities do not excite a Catiline to blow about 
the seeds of contention, or a Faux to apply a torch to this combustible pile, it will be 
because nature, or its God, has new-modelled the constitution of man. Our country 
seems to have this issue upon trial, — Whether man has virtue sufficient to restrain lib- 
erty from running into licentiousness." 



his vote and the weight of his influence to its candidates and 
its policy." * 

Mr. Quincy was married June 6, 1797, to Eliza Susan 
Morton. Her father, Colonel John Morton, was a wealthy 
merchant in New York at the breaking out of the War of 
Independence. He was a zealous patriot, so liberal in his 
loans to the Government as to be called by the British, "The 
Rebel Banker," by which his own fortune was considerably 
impaired. He had now been dead sixteen years. His widow, 
the bride's mother, resided in a house at the corner of Pine and 
Water Streets, in New York, where the marriage ceremony 
took place ; President Smith, from the College at Princeton, 
New Jersey, officiating on the occasion. From an autobiog- 
raphy of her early life left by Mrs. Quincy, I copy an account 
of the bridal journey to Boston, which reads strangely in 
these days of steamboats and railroads : — 

" We travelled pleasantly in a private carriage and four, and reached 
Marlborough, Massachusetts, on the evening of the eighth day of our 
journey. The next day, at noon, we saw a carriage approach, which 
brought Mr. Quincy's mother, accompanied by his cousins, Miriam 
Phillips and Hannah Storer, w r hom she had selected as appropriate 
attendants on her new daughter. Mrs. Quincy was then fifty-three 
years of age, still retaining traces of great personal beauty, with a fine 
expression of countenance, and cordial and graceful manners. Her 
dress united richness and elegance with propriety and taste. I was 
much agitated at the thought of this meeting ; but, from the moment I 
saw her, and received her first welcome and embrace, I felt at ease, 
and sure that we should promote each other's happiness. Mr. Quincy's 
satisfaction was complete when he beheld me with his mother, and 
surrounded by approving friends. The next day, we had a very gay 
journey to Boston in the carriage with Mrs. Quincy and her com- 

* This extract is from an interesting and valuable memoir of Mr. Quincy, which 
appeared in the " New-York Daily Tribune " for July 8, 1864, a little more than a week 
after his death. It is understood to have been written by his son, Mr. Edmund Quincy; 
and the reader will find that we are under repeated obligations to it. Through the 
kindness of the family, we have also had access to letters and other manuscripts, which 
have been of great use in preparing this biographical notice. 


panions, sending our luggage by the one which had brought us from 
New York. We drove over Cambridge Bridge, and through Boston, 
to the residence of Mrs. Quincy, in Pearl Street, where she again 
welcomed us to her home." 

A happier matrimonial connection could not have been 
formed. By her delicacy of character, calm judgment, and 
literary culture, Mrs. Quincy was admirably qualified to pre- 
side over her husband's house with grace and dignity, and at 
the same time to enter into and share his best thoughts, and 
be his companion and adviser in all things. But their bright 
prospects, after a few short months, were suddenly clouded 
by the sickness and death of Mr. Quincy's mother. The 
event was unexpected, and widely deplored; yet all felt it to 
be a natural and impressive termination of the great purpose 
of her life, which was to bring up her son to be worthy of his 
name, and see him established in the world. Her work was 

In 1798, Mr. Quincy delivered the oration on the anniver- 
sary of American Independence, before the citizens of Boston. 
This is the first of his acknowledged productions which have 
been transmitted to us by the press. It is also, both in mat- 
ter and manner, a characteristic performance, and seems to 
have attracted considerable attention at the time ; for the copy 
now before us is a Philadelphia reprint of the Boston edition. 
The orator begins by recounting the principal causes which 
endangered the liberties of the Colonies ; and then shows, or 
undertakes to show, that similar causes were still at work, 
under other names and connections, threatening the liberties 
of the United States. It was no longer England and her 
emissaries, but France and her emissaries. " The black 
whirlwind, which spreads disorder and desolation over the 
face of Europe, curls threatening towards our shores.' 7 In 

* In the " Columbian Centinel" for March 28, 1798, there is an obituary notice of 
this lady, from the pen of Dr. Kirkland. 


one word, it is an earnest and fearless statement of the im- 
minent perils of the country, as apprehended at that time, 
from the Federal point of view. 

At the election for members of Congress, in 1800, Mr. 
Quincy was the Federal candidate in the Suffolk district. 
He was then but twenty-eight ; at a time, too, when years 
weighed much more than they do now as a qualification for 
office. And besides, party lines, at least with the mass of 
the people, were not yet so distinctly drawn as afterwards ; 
a circumstance which enabled the supporters of the rival 
candidate, Dr. William Eustis, to urge with greater effect 
his larger experience and his Revolutionary services. Dr. 
Eustis was chosen by a small majority. In April, 1804, Mr. 
Quincy was elected a member of the Massachusetts Senate, 
and took an active part in the business of that body during 
its summer session. But in the following November, before 
his term of service there had expired, he was again put in 
competition with Dr. Eustis for the office of representative 
in Congress. This time his friends prevailed by a decided 
vote, as they also did at his three successive re-elections ; 
after which he voluntarily retired, partly for political, and 
partly for domestic and personal reasons. 

In reviewing Mr. Quincy's Congressional career, every one 
must be impressed by the vigor, intelligence, and inflexible 
constancy with which he maintained what he conceived to be 
the vital interests of the country. Reference is often made 
to a few vehement expressions and acts of his, provoked by 
the extreme measures of the day, as if they were a fair speci- 
men of his public conduct ; but this is not the case. Scarcely 
a single question of importance came up for consideration by 
Congress, during the eight years he was a member of that 
body, on which he did not speak at length, discussing it*on 
its merits. His language is always terse and strong ; his 
information full and exact, showing how thoroughly he had 
prepared himself for the work by a careful study of the his- 


tory and resources of this country and its foreign relations, 
of the dangers and safeguards of free governments, and of 
international law. As a parliamentary orator, judged by his 
printed speeches, he stands among the foremost this country 
has produced. Where his only aim is to enlighten or con- 
vince, the reasoning is often singularly compact and lucid ; 
as in his speech " on Fortifying the Coasts and Harbors/' and 
in that " on Establishing a Navy." Occasionally, as in what 
he says of New England and his native State, in a speech " on 
Submission to the Edicts of Great Britain and France," he 
indulges in bursts of enthusiasm and flights of fancy, which 
were much applauded at the time, and are still read with 
pleasure. In bitter and scornful sarcasm he was unrivalled, 
the consciousness of which tempted him to resort to this 
mode of attack oftener, perhaps, than was well ; but the de- 
bate " on the Influence of Place and Patronage " afforded him 
ample and legitimate scope for it. It has been said of the 
speech made by him on this occasion, that it ought to be 
printed and glazed, and hung up in every office of every 
office-holder in the land. John Adams, though dissenting 
from several of its positions, pronounced "the eloquence mas- 
terly, and the satire inimitable," unsurpassed by any thing in 
Juvenal or Swift. 

Mr. Quincy has been sometimes blamed for the violence of 
his attacks on the Administration. This is one of those points 
on which the party in power and the party out of power can 
never be expected to agree. Even as a question of general 
casuistry, it is not easy to settle, on purely ethical grounds, 
precisely how far such opposition can be carried in great 
national issues, and especially in time of war, without becom- 
ing factious or unpatriotic. When the Emperor Alexander 
was in London, in 1814, he told one of the great Whig lords 
that he liked the working of the Opposition Party, in Eng- 
land, on the whole ; " but would it not be still better," he 
asked, " if they were to communicate their objections to the 


ministry in private?" Of course, Mr. Quincy entertained no 
scruples of this kind ; indeed, to a people accustomed to free 
speech and a free press, the suggestion is simply ludicrous. 
The only practical rule would seem to be, for every one to 
expose and denounce what he conceives to be alarming public 
abuses. If the abuses really exist, the people should know 
it ; if not, let the charge be refuted. To the objection that 
the best governments may be weakened or obstructed by 
such attacks, and this, too, in times of difficulty and peril, 
when their energies are taxed to the utmost, the answer is 
obvious. Where the people are used to unrestrained party 
recrimination, they soon learn how to understand it, and 
make the proper allowances ; nay, more, if unreasonable or 
ill-timed, it is much more likely to injure the party from 
which it proceeds, than the party against which it is di- 
rected. And, besides, even if some inconvenience is occa- 
sioned thereby, it must be accepted as a necessary condition 
of liberty ; or, at any rate, as part of the price usually paid 
for it. 

Never, in the history of this country, has the Opposition 
felt called upon to speak out more boldly than at the time 
when Mr. Quincy was in Congress. The old leaders of the 
Federal party had taken an active part in laying the founda- 
tions of the existing Government; they had also been among 
the steady supporters of Washington's policy. It has some- 
times been said, that they were the friends of order, rather 
than of liberty ; but there is not much ground for this dis- 
tinction. They had just seen the wild and impracticable 
notions of liberty prevalent in France end in a remorseless 
military despotism ; and, to their excited imaginations, things 
in this country were rapidly drifting in the same direction. 
Liberty, as well as order, at least to their apprehension, was 
in imminent danger; but what could they do to save either? 
Reduced to an inconsiderable minority in the national and 
most of the State governments, neither their counsels nor 


their votes were of any avail ; leaving them no power but that 
of protest, pushed to the verge of resistance. 

Whoever is familiar with the newspapers and political 
pamphlets of that day, will not need to be informed, that Mr. 
Quincy, in his most solemn warnings and vehement denuncia- 
tions, seldom, if ever, went beyond the party he represented. 
Indeed, there were questions on which he did not go so far. 
In 1808, he voted with the majority on the resolution, " that 
the United States cannot, without a sacrifice of their rights, 
honor, and independence, submit to the edicts of Great Brit- 
ain and France ; " and, in 1811, on the bill for augmenting the 
land forces. Again, in 1812, he not only voted for the Gov- 
ernment measure " to establish a navy," but made one of his 
ablest speeches in its favor. He also professed his readiness 
at all times to intrust the Executive with abundant means 
for putting the country in a state of defence. Moreover, 
injustice has often been done to the Federal Opposition in 
Congress, by inferring its general character from single and 
extreme acts ; in proof of which it would be easy to adduce 
testimony not to be suspected of partiality. A single in- 
stance will suffice. The debate on the short Embargo im- 
mediately preceding the declaration of war against Great 
Britain had been continued until seven o'clock in the evening, 
and the Administration was anxious to hurry the bill through. 
In this state of things, Mr. Quincy expressed a desire to speak 
on the question, so extremely interesting to his immediate 
constituents, but was unable to do so from fatigue, unless the 
House would consent to an adjournment. An adjournment 
was therefore advocated by Mr. Williams, of South Carolina, 
and Mr. Macon, of North Carolina, both of them leading 
Democrats ; the former assigning as a reason for the indul- 
gence, that " the deportment of the other side of the House 
had, during the whole of the session, been very gentlemanly 
towards the majority." Mr. Macon went farther still : " He 
thought the minority had acted with more propriety than he 


ever knew in a minority." Even Mr. Wright, of Maryland, 
though opposed to the adjournment, " was willing to acknowl- 
edge the minority had conducted with propriety." 

But occasionally there were stormy times. The following 
is an extract from a letter from Washington, dated Jan. 20, 
1809:* — 

" Yesterday and to-day there has been in the House of Representa- 
tives one of the warmest and most impassioned discussions ever wit- 
nessed by a legislative assembly, on the bill for the next meeting of 
Congress. Mr. Quincy made an attack on the Administration, which 
called forth all the virulence of the Executive phalanx ; and, to-day, 
Campbell and Jackson went into the House, with the apparent deter- 
mination to reduce him to the same necessity to which Gardenier 
was forced last session. Irritated by his attacks, and unable to answer 
him, they poured out upon him a torrent of gross and illiberal abuse. 
Mr. Quincy, in reply, stated specifically his ground, and told them that 
his honor was of little worth if it lay in the mouths of such men, and 
not in his own conduct. He was no duellist. He had the honor to 
represent, not only a wise, a moral, a powerful and intellectual, but a 
religious people ; that, among them, to avenge wrongs of words, by 
resorting to the course of conduct to which it was obviously intended 
to reduce him, was so far from being honorable, that it would be a dis- 
grace to any man. To gain the temporary applause of such men as 
his assailants, whom he could only pity and despise, he should not 
sacrifice his own principles, nor forfeit the respect of those whose good 
opinion was the highest reward of his life. If they expected by such 
artifices to deter him from doing his duty, they would find themselves 
mistaken. Where he was kno-wn, nothing they could say would injure 
him ; and where they were known, he believed the effect would not be 

Brought up in New England, and professing to be a man 
of moral and religious principle, he could, of course, take no 
other ground than he did on the subject of duelling; but his 
open and manly way of avowing it won general admiration. 
Mr. Buckminster did but utter the common sentiment, when 

* First published in the " New England Palladium," Jan. 31, 1809. 


he said " he would rather be the author of that retort of his. 

than of all the speeches he ever made, however eloquent or 
effective." He also had another motive for being thus ex- 
plicit. Only a fortnight before, his friends in Boston and 
Quincy had been startled by a rumor, which, from the diffi- 
culty of communication at that time, remained uncontradicted 
for several days, that he had actually fallen in an affair of 
honor, so called. He was glad of an opportunity to set their 
minds at rest on that point. As, however, some fears were 
entertained of an attack in the streets, Mr. Lloyd insisted on 
arming him with a brace of pistols, carefully loaded by him- 
self, which he consented to wear for a few days, and then 
threw aside. He probably was never in any real danger; 
there was something in his look and bearing which did not 
encourage an assault. And, besides, it is interesting to know, 
that much of the indignation expressed against him on the 
floor of Congress did not grow out of personal or even party 
hostility, but was merely for political effect at home. One of 
the Western members was frank enough to tell him, that he 
was hated in his district more than any other man in the 
country, except perhaps Colonel Pickering. " So," says he, 
u I must go on abusing you, or I shall lose my next election. 
But I hope we shall be good friends notwithstanding." 

How little he cared for such things appears from the fact, 
that, within a week after the scene just described, he gave 
occasion to another of the same kind. The latter, indeed, as 
the story is commonly told, would seem to have been little 
better than an act of Quixotism on his part ; but it is because 
the circumstances which led to it, and his real objects, are 
kept out of sight : — 

"The facts," as his son tells us, "were these. General Lincoln, 
of the Revolution, was appointed Collector of Boston, by President 
Washington, and held the office down to 1809. His infirmities of age 
and health, however, had made him desirous of resigning his post ; and 
in November, 1806, he had sent in his resignation [or wish to resign]. 



Mr. Jefferson asked him, as a personal favor, to retain the place until 
the next March. To this he consented, but in March no successor was 
appointed ; and, after waiting till September, he again requested to be 
relieved, stating his entire inability to perform the duties of his office. 
To this communication he never received any answer at all ; and he 
was compelled to remain in office, although he had not been able to be 
in Boston for nearly a year. This office had thus been kept virtually 
vacant for more than two years, as a provision for General Henry 
Dearborn, Mr. Jefferson's Secretary of War, after his term of office 
should have expired." # 

To Mr. Quincy's strict notions of public duty, this sort of 
favoritism in the bestowment of Executive patronage, involv- 
ing, as it did in the present instance, the retention in an 
important office for so long a time of a person known to be 
wholly incompetent to its duties, amounted to " a high misde- 
meanor," deserving the notice and action of Congress. Nor 
was this all. While he was meditating what to do, an article 
appeared in the " National Intelligencer/' the organ of the 
Government, stigmatizing General Lincoln as " a Federalist, 
whom the forbearance of the Administration had long retained 
in office, in opposition to the wishes of a respectable class 
in the community." Incensed at the false impression which 
such a statement was calculated to make on the public mind, 
Mr. Quincy was determined that the whole truth should be 
known. Accordingly, he rose in his place in the House on 
that very morning, as soon as the business of the day began, 

* These facts are given more at length, in a letter to Mr. Quincy from Benjamin 
Weld, Esq., Assistant-Collector of Boston, dated Jan. 19, 1809. The writer says, 
" Early in the month of November, 1806, General Lincoln wrote to the President of 
the United States, stating his infirmities and advanced years, and requested to resign 
at the end of the year. The President returned an answer which was received in 
December, which, after some flattering compliments on his Kevolutionary services, 
requested the General to give him a little longer time to look out for a suitable char- 
acter to fill his office, and limited the time to the last of March following, beyond which, 
he assured him, he should not be detained. The General in reply said, ' The wishes of 
the President should be a law to him.'" General Lincoln's request was afterwards 
urgently. renewed; but no attention whatever was paid to it for nearly two years. Mr. 
Weld says, " That the office has been kept for General D., there is not the least doubt; 
he has intimated it himself to persons who have told me in confidence." 


and, after stating the facts he was prepared to prove, moved 
the two following resolutions : First, that the President be 
requested to communicate the correspondence respecting 
General Lincoln's resignation ; and, secondly, that a Com- 
mittee be appointed to inquire into the causes which have 
prevented that resignation from being accepted, and report 
the result. A violent debate ensued, and, when the vote 
was taken on the question, " Shall the Resolutions be adopt- 
ed?" it stood, yeas, 1; nays, 117. 

In looking back on this affair, we need not suppose that 
Mr. Quincy submitted his motion in the expectation that it 
would lead to an impeacJiment, or even so much as bring up 
the question in that form. Before the vote was taken, his 
main purpose had been accomplished, which was to expose 
the conduct of the President. Having done this, it would 
have been in order for him to withdraw his motion; but, as 
such a step might be construed into a shrinking from respon- 
sibility, he chose rather to let it take its course. Character- 
istically enough, he told the House, that " neither the asperities 
of his political opponents, nor the disagreement of his politi- 
cal friends, would change his mind on a subject which he had 
well considered. If he was in an error concerning the charge, 
or rather allegation, he had made, he was willing to stand 
before the nation in support of it. It gave him no sort of 
pain or anxiety." The motion was made at the opening of the 
morning's session, which then began at nine o'clock. At 
twelve o'clock the same day, General Dearborn's nomination 
was sent to the Senate.* 

* Mr. Randall, in his "Life of Thomas Jefferson," vol. iii. p. 289, dwells on the 
Revolutionary services of General Lincoln. But it was not for these that he was de- 
tained in office against his will by Mr. Jefferson. Again, he says, it was no "hardship " 
to be complained of on the part of the General or his friends, that he continued to 
receive a salary of five thousand dollars a year for doing nothing. Perhaps not; but, 
nevertheless, it might be connected with an abuse of Executive patronage; and, be- 
sides, the responsibility under the circumstances was felt and declared to be a " hard- 
ship." Finally, he says of Lincoln's resignation, that it was "never actually sent in 


There was also another passage in Mr. Quincy's Congres- 
sional life which deserves notice, because it has been made 
the ground of representing him as the first asserter in the 
National legislature of the right of secession. It occurred 
Jan. 14, 1811, in the debate on "admitting the Territory of 
Orleans into the Union as an Independent State." In a con- 
stitutional argument on that question, he was led to say : — 

"'lam compelled to declare it as my deliberate opinion, that, if this 
bill passes, the bonds of this Union are virtually dissolved ; that the 
States which compose it are free from their moral obligations ; and that 
as it will be the right of all, so it will be the duty of some, to prepare 
definitely for a separation, — amicably if they can, violently if they 

"Mr. Quincy was here called to order by Mr. Poindexter. 

" Mr. Quincy repeated and justified the remark he had made, which, 
to save all misapprehension, he committed to writing in the following 
words : ' If this bill passes, it is my deliberate opinion that it is virtu- 
ally a dissolution of this Union ; that it will free the States from their 
moral obligation ; and as it will be the right of all, so it will be the 
duty of some, definitely to prepare for a separation, amicably if they 
can, violently if they must.' 

" After some confusion, Mr. Poindexter required the decision of the 
Speaker, whether it was consistent with the propriety of debate, to use 
such an expression. He said it was radically wrong for any member 
to use arguments going to dissolve the Government, and tumble this 
body itself to dust and ashes. It would be found, from the gentleman's 
statement of his language, that he had declared the right of any por- 
tion of the people to separate — 

" Mr. Quincy wished the Speaker to decide ; for, if the gentleman 
was permitted to debate the question, he should lose one-half of his 

" The Speaker decided, that great latitude in debate was generally 

until after the passage of the Enforcing Law," which took place about a fortnight only 
before the appointment of Dearborn. The statement is, perhaps, true so far as this, 
that Lincoln from courtesy contented himself with pressing his request, and allowed 
himself to be put off until the passage of that Act. He is then understood to have 
written to the President, " that he had fought for the liberties of his country, and 
spent his best years in her service; and that he was not, in his old age, to be made an 
instrument to violate what he had assisted to acquire." 


allowed ; and that, by way of argument against the bill, the first part 
of the gentleman's observations was admissible ; but the latter mem- 
ber of the sentence, viz., ' That it would be the duty of some States 
to prepare for a separation, amicably if they can, violently if they 
must,' was contrary to the order of debate. 

"Mr. Quincy appealed from this decision, and required the yeas 
and nays on the appeal. The question was thus stated : ' Is the de- 
cision of the Speaker correct ? ' And decided, fifty-three yeas ; fifty- 
six nays. So the decision of the Speaker was reversed ; Mr. Quincy's 
observations were declared to be in order, and he proceeded." * 

Such is the record. The first reflection suggested by it 
is, that the House, though composed of political opponents 
in the proportion of two to one, pronounced his remarks " in 
order." No doubt many of them acted on the principle, that 
language elicited in the heat of an impassioned debate is not 
to be interpreted to the letter. Above all, the purpose, the 
drift of the speaker should be considered ; which, in the pres- 
ent case, was not to threaten, but to warn ; not a plot to 
destroy the Union, but anxiety to save it. On resuming his 
speech, Mr. Quincy said, "When I spoke of the , separation 
of the States as resulting from the violation of the Constitu- 
tion contemplated in this bill, I spoke of it as a necessity 
deeply to be deprecated; but as resulting from causes so 
certain and obvious, as to be absolutely inevitable, when the 
effect of the principle is practically experienced. It is to 
preserve, to guard the constitution of my country, that I 
denounce this attempt." — "The voice I have uttered, at 
which gentlemen startle with such agitation, is no unfriendly 
voice : I intend it as a voice of warning.' 7 f 

* Benton's Abridgment of the Debates of Congress, vol. iv. p. 327. 

t His purpose and drift in this speech are made still more apparent from the follow- 
ing account of it, given at the time in a private letter to Mrs. Quincy: " I used strong 
language, because, by calling on the North to separate, I knew it would rouse the 
Southern men, who, though they are eternally throwing out threats of separation 
themselves, and thus govern the country with a rod of iron, yet tremble like aspen 
leaves at such a proposition coming from the North. I answered my purpose fully. 
The House were so arrested by my boldness, that they heard me throughout; and Poin- 
dexter has made my position so prominent, that I have no doubt the nation will do the 


Precisely what he meant by releasing the old States from 
" their moral obligations " to the Union, is not clear. If he 
merely meant, that persistence in an open and avowed viola- 
tion of the original terms of the compact on the part of the 
Government would render that compact morally null and 
void, the doctrine is incontestable. But, if the alleged viola- 
tion here complained of was really open and avowed, that is 
to say, acknowledged to be a violation on all sides, why go 
into an elaborate argument, as he does, to prove what no- 
body denied?* On the other hand, if the violation was 
asserted by one party, and denied by the other, — this being 
one of the principal questions at issue, as the debate shows, 
— it certainly was not competent for any State, as such, 
to decide the question for itself, and act accordingly. At 
the same time it is proper to observe, that Mr. Quincy's 
doctrine, however construed or judged, differs essentially, 
both in nature and extent, from that out of which the great 
Southern secession arose ; the latter being, that any State, by 
virtue of its sovereignty alone, has a right to secede from 
the Union for any cause deemed sufficient by itself, no matter 
whether the Constitution has been violated or not. 

same. If people in our part of the Union are tame on this question, which I deem 
both in principle and consequences the most important ever debated, they deserve to 
be, what they will be, slaves, and to no desirable masters." 

* Mr. Jefferson, as a "strict constructionist," had, it is true, entertained scruples 
on this subject at the time of the original purchase of Louisiana; but they were not 
shared, certainly not to the same extent, by his party in Congress, — not even by 
the Southern members. In this very debate, Mr. Macon, of North Carolina, admitted 
that the constitutional objection, if well-founded, ought to prevail; and this, too, not- 
withstanding any stipulations in the treaty of cession to the contrary. "It is never too 
late," said he, "to return to the Constitution." Mr. Jefferson himself was induced at 
length to acquiesce, consistently or inconsistently, in a more liberal interpretation of 
that instrument on the point in question, — an interpretation, we may add, which has 
since been acted on repeatedly without much opposition, though it has never come up 
for adjudication in the Supreme Court. " At the present day," says Judge Story, " few 
statesmen are to be found who seriously contest the constitutionality of the Acts 
respecting either the Embargo, or the purchase and admission of Louisiana into the 
Union. The general voice of the nation has sustained and supported them." (Com- 
mentaries on the Constitution, vol. iii. p. 163.) — Perhaps such questions should be 
regarded as political rather than as juridical. 


But it was not in debate alone that Mr. Quincy evinced his 
zeal to serve his constituents. The representative of a large 
commercial district like Boston, besides his proper official 
charge in Congress, is expected to mediate between indi- 
viduals and the Government in a multitude of difficulties and 
grievances incident to foreign traffic, and to keep a vigilant 
eye on the bearing of every new measure on their interests. 
This care, always onerous, was made doubly so at the time 
in question, by what has been called the anti-commercial 
policy of the Administration ; but Mr. Quincy, to whom work 
throughout life was not so much a duty as a passion, ne- 
glected nothing. A single instance will illustrate his vigor 
and promptness. The dominant party having come to the 
conclusion, in the spring of 1812, to declare war against 
Great Britain, had made up their minds to impose an embargo 
of sixty days as a preliminary step : — 

" Mr. Calhoun, on the eve of reporting this bill, communicated the 
purpose to Mr. Quincy, as the representative of a commercial district, 
in order that there might be no pretence of a surprise. ' Mr. Quincy 
at once advised with Mr. Lloyd, one of the Massachusetts senators, 
and instantly dispatched a special messenger to Boston with the in- 
telligence. This courier accomplished the distance in what w r as then 
regarded as the incredibly short 'time of seventy-two hours. In conse- 
quence of this dispatch, great numbers of ships were loaded and sent to 
sea, neither the night nor the Sabbath interrupting the work of neces- 
sity, before the news arrived by the regular channels. Mr. Calhoun 
was not well pleased with this speedy advantage taken of his intelli- 
gence ; but, as there was no particular purpose of pleasing him in the 
matter, it was of the less consequence." * 

Mr. Quincy's fourth term of office as member of Congress 
expired in March, 1813. He had declined being considered 
a candidate for re-election, much to the regret of his political 
friends ; but he could not be turned from his purpose. One 

* Memoir in the New York Tribune. 


reason was, that he had become weary of leading the forlorn 
hope of Federalism in the national councils ; and the more so, 
as Federalism was beginning to be a house divided against 
itself. He was also influenced, in no small measure, by domes- 
tic considerations. For three winters he had taken his family 
with him to Washington; but this course, as the family in- 
creased, was attended by difficulty and expense he was 
unwilling to incur. He was therefore under the necessity 
of being separated from his wife and children for a consider- 
able portion of every year ; a great sacrifice to a man of his 
tastes and habits, and one which he did not feel called upon 
to make any longer, especially as he now saw that the most 
strenuous opposition to democratic measures, in the existing 
state of parties, would be of no avail.* 

In thus withdrawing from Congress, at least until better 
times, it was no part of Mr. Quincy's plan to retire from 
public life. He was immediately elected by substantially the 
same constituency to his former place in the Senate of Massa- 
chusetts, and continued an active and influential member of 
that body for seven years, from 1813 to 1820. Here he acted 
with the majority, and took his full share of the responsibility 
in moulding and determining the policy of this State during 
the last war with England. 

Early in the June session of 1813, he was appointed chair- 
man of a Committee to consider the recent formation of " new 
States without the territorial limits of the United States." 
His report is a restatement of the doctrine advanced in his 
Congressional speeches on this subject, though under a some- 
what mitigated form. The measure is denounced, not as 

* The vexation and despondency which had already taken possession of some of 
the best minds in the Federal party, may be judged of by the following passage, taken 
from a letter of Fisher Ames to Mr. Quincy, while the latter was in Congress: "I de- 
clare to you, I fear Federalism will not only die, but all remembrance of it be lost. As 
a party, it is still good for every thing it ever was good for; that is to say, to cry 'fire ' 
and ' stop thief,' when Jacobinism attempts to burn and rob. It never had the power 
to put out the fire, or to seize the thief." — Works of Fisher Ames, vol. i. p. 391. 


justifying, but as " tending to the dissolution of the Con- 

A few days afterwards, it was proposed to the Senate to pass 
certain resolves, in commendation of the gallantry and good 
conduct of Captain Lawrence, in the capture of a British brig 
of war. Similar resolves had been passed by both branches 
of the Legislature, in favor of other naval commanders ; they 
had also been passed by the House, in this particular case, by 
a unanimous vote. In the Senate, however, they were now 
met by the famous preamble and resolution submitted by Mr. 
Quincy, declaring among other things, " that in a war like the 
present, waged without justifiable cause and prosecuted in a 
manner which indicates that conquest and ambition are its 
real motives, it is not becoming a moral and religious people 
to express any approbation of military or naval exploits which 
are not immediately connected with the defence of the coast 
and the soil." The passage of this resolution was regarded 
at the time as a triumph of the " conscientious Federalists," 
so called ; it never had the approval of many of .the leading 
members of the party, especially among the Boston mer- 
chants, who doubted the wisdom of speaking in this way of 
the victories achieved by our arms, and who were also con- 
cerned about their own interests, and fond of making a dis- 
tinction in favor of the navy over the land forces. In the 
Democratic journals, it was everywhere fiercely denounced 
as " moral treason." 

The unequal burdens and hardships imposed on New Eng- 
land by the Embargo, and afterwards by the war, continued 
to bear more and more heavily on the people, and produced a 
wide-spread spirit of discontent. This effect was still further 
aggravated by a suspicion, well or ill founded, that the South 
and West were in a conspiracy to cripple and destroy com- 
merce, on which New England mainly depended for its wealth 
and prosperity, and to introduce Mr. Jefferson's " Chinese " 

policy. Under these circumstances the Hartford Convention 



assembled, in 1814; not (as we believe is now generally 
conceded) to increase or give effect to the disaffection, but 
to control it and keep it within constitutional limits. Mr. 
Quincy's relations to the whole movement are thus indicated 
by his son : — *■ 

" When the Legislature of Massachusetts came to appoint delegates, 
they omitted to elect Mr. Quincy. They were afraid to trust his im- 
petuous temperament and fiery earnestness. They thought that he 
would represent too well the spirit of those who demanded the Con- 
vention. He always described the Convention as 'a Tub to the 
Whale,' as a dilatory measure to amuse the malcontents and make them 
believe that something was doing for their relief, and keep them quiet 
under inaction, until events might make action necessary. And this 
did actually happen. One day, while the public attention was fixed 
upon the Convention, then sitting with closed doors, a friend met Mr. 
Quincy in the street, and said, ' What do you suppose will be the 
result of this Convention?' — 'I can tell you exactly,' he replied. 
' Indeed,' exclaimed the other ; ' pray what will it be ? ' — 'A great 
pamphlet,' was his answer ; and it was even so." 

But it would be doing great injustice to Mr. Quincy to 
suppose, that his thoughts, as a legislator, were wholly or 
mainly occupied on questions of party politics. He was 
ever ready with his earnest and effective support of well- 
considered schemes for reform in prison discipline and in the 
poor-laws, for the relief of insolvent debtors, for the encour- 
agement of agriculture and popular education, and, in short, 
for all philanthropic measures. Indeed, it was his independ- 
ent course in respect to some of these measures, as well as the 
stand he took in 1819, with a small minority composed mostly 
of Democrats, against the separation of the District of Maine,* 

* The first bill passed by the Legislature on this subject, in 1816, was not accepted 
by the people of Maine. When the second, which really went into effect, was under 
consideration, in 1819, Mr. Quincy resisted it strenuously in an eloquent and character- 
istic speech of two hours, in which he says: " Three years since, when a bill containing 
similar provisions to that which is now on the table was passed, it was my misfortune 
to be compelled to give it at this Board my solitary negative." He still stood alone in 
the Committee, a circumstance which he thus notices: "I call this situation of mine a 


which had the effect seriously to compromise his popularity 
with the managers of his own party. The consequence was, 
that, in making up the ticket for senators, in 1820, his name 
was dropped.* His personal and many of his political friends 
were offended at this step ; and, being determined that the 
public should not lose his services, they succeeded in getting 
him elected to the House. Soon after taking his seat in that 
body, Mr. Mills, the Speaker, resigned, and he was called to 
the chair, — a place which he continued to hold until January, 
1822, when he also resigned, in order to accept the appoint- 
ment of Judge of the Municipal Court, in Boston. 

Mr. Quincy's political life may be said to have now closed. 
This is the less to be regretted, inasmuch as the Federal 
party, the only party to which he ever properly belonged, 
was fast breaking up. The Federalists had never entirely 

misfortune; for, if I know myself, I am not ambitious of that sort of distinction which 
arises from mere singularity, either in conduct or opinion. I have accordingly, and 
sedulously too, endeavored to raise a doubt upon this question ; but I cannot. I could 
as well doubt of my own existence as doubt of the unconstitutionality of this bill. 
And, on an occasion of such magnitude and solemnity, he who cannot doubt, cannot 
compromise." When the final question was taken in the Senate, the votes were, — 
yeas, 26; nays, 11. 

* A communication to the "Boston Daily Advertiser" for April 18, 1820, under- 
stood to be from Mr. John Lowell, throws light on this transaction. " Why," the writer 
asks, " are the county of Suffolk and the State deprived of the experience and talents of 
Mr. Quincy? To him the result will probably be beneficial, since it has given him an 
opportunity, most honorable to his character, of showing his magnanimity and disin- 
terestedness. I would rather enjoy the triumph which that gentleman won at the late 
Federal caucus, than to have the unanimous suffrages of a fickle and ungrateful party . 
No: I will not say party, because I believe that at least three-quarters of the Federal 
party, left to their unbiassed suffrages, not alarmed by reports that Mr. Quincy would 
not be supported, and that, of course, their exertions to secure his election would be in 
vain, would have given them their unqualified and zealous support. The fault I find 
with this issue is, that it seems to hold out to the world an opinion that something 
more than uncorrupted integrity, unquestionable purity of manners and character, 
cultivated understanding, long experience in public affairs, and an ardent zeal to pro- 
mote the honor and interests of the country, and the cause of religion and science, is 
expected of our rulers. And what is this something more that we expect? Is it a 
time-serving spirit and flattering manners? Is it dereliction of principle to preserve 
one's popularity? I repeat it, I would rather be Josiah Quincy, urging in a private 
assembly his fellow-citizens to do their duty, and to unite in favor of a list from which 
his own name was ungratefully excluded, than to have had the unanimous applause of 
both parties." 


recovered from their misunderstanding with John Adams, 
and still less from the defection of his son; but the actual 
dissolution of the party, at least as a national one, is com- 
monly dated from the so-called " era of good feelings," in- 
troduced at the inauguration of President Monroe, in 1817. 
So rapid and complete was this dissolution, that, on the recon- 
struction of parties at the election of John Quincy Adams to 
the Presidency, in 1824, nothing was left of Federalism, — not 
even the name. Few if any instances are on record of a 
party of equal merit and renown passing away so suddenly 
and so entirely. It has been succeeded in Massachusetts by 
parties of various denominations, some of which must have 
found difficulty in telling what they were; but all knew what 
they were not, — they were not Federalists. To the last, 
however, Mr. Quincy was " faithful found among the faith- 
less; 7 ' yet with a clear understanding that the old party could 
never be revived. In reply to a letter written to him in 
1847, on the subject of a "History of Federalism," he says: — 

" It is not, however, to be concealed, that there is now no such thing 
possible as the return of such influences. The circumstances of our 
country no longer permit any such purity of motives, as characterized 
the Federal policy, to be either a general or an efficient principle of 
party action. The Federal leaders had a clear stage. They were not 
embarrassed by precedents or examples. They had a homogeneous 
population to guide, not a composite of all nations and languages. They 
had for the basis of their power the character and influences of Wash- 
ington, whose virtues, tried through the War of the Revolution, gave a 
weight and secured a popularity for their measures, which no future 
combination of men can hope to attain or possess. . . . The princi- 
ples of Federalism lasted in power but twelve years, and in purity can 
never be restored to it. Opposuit Natura" 

Seventeen of the best years of Mr. Quincy's life had been 
given to legislation and statesmanship. Before passing to 
other topics, it may be well to consider how far his political 
theories have been confirmed by events. 


These theories, as entertained at that time, are best ex- 
pressed in his " Oration before the Washington Benevolent 
Society/' delivered by him in 1813, soon after his retirement 
from Congress. According to him, the principal danger to 
be apprehended in this country was from the disturbance of 
"the proportions of political power," occasioned "partly by 
the operation of the slave-ratio in the Constitution, and partly 
by the unexampled emigration into the West." As a natural 
consequence, the preponderance of the old States would be 
gradually transferred to the new ; and, what is worse, a new 
national policy would be established favorable to the agricul- 
tural States, and adverse to the commercial States. New 
England must, perhaps, submit to this up to a certain point, 
as " the fair result of the compact" 

" We had agreed," says he, " that all the people within the ancient 
limits of the United States should be placed on the same footing, and 
had granted an undoubted right to Congress to admit States at will, 
within the ancient limits. We had done more; we had submitted to 
throw our rights and liberties, and those of our children, into a com- 
mon stock with the Southern men and their slaves, and had agreed 
to be content with what remained after they and their negroes were 

But the admission of Louisiana into the Union, deemed by 
him clearly unconstitutional, had put a new face on the whole 
transaction. Our allegiance to " a certain extrinsic associa- 
tion called the United States " is limited by the condition, 
that " the principles of the Constitution should be preserved 
inviolate." — " Whether any such violation has occurred, or 
whether it be such as essentially affects the securities of their 
rights and liberties, are questions which the people of the 
associated States are competent, not only to discuss, but to 
decide." His conclusion is, that " the people of this country 
have but two events between which to select, and that at no 
distant period of time: either to put an end to this oppres- 
sion, and the chance of its recurrence, by a new and amicable 


modification of the proportions and powers of the Constitu- 
tion ; or to worry along a little farther, until the weight of 
grievances produce convulsions which will put an end to the 
Constitution." * 

Time has sanctioned some of these speculations, and set 
aside others. He was certainly among the first to see, in all 
its extent, the danger to be apprehended from the slavehold- 
ing power. Occupied almost exclusively with the political 
aspects of slavery, there was no man in those early days so 
profoundly impressed by the conviction, that out of that in- 
stitution would grow jealousies and contentions which would 
shake the Union to its foundations. So far, he is to be reck- 
oned among the prophets. But in other respects his fore- 
bodings, or many of them at least, though shared by some 
of the best and wisest men of his party, have not been 
fulfilled. New England, by adding manufactures to com- 
merce, and bringing to both the exhaustless resources of free 
and skilled labor, has never ceased to prosper under the 
Constitution as it was, and as it is. Again, he did not make 
sufficient account of the many ties of interest and sympathy 

* There can be no doubt that the views here advanced were generally entertained 
by the party, not excepting its Southern members. Alexander C. Hanson, of Bal- 
timore, wrote: "You mistake the feelings and wishes of the Federalists with whom 
I communicate, if you suppose the language of your oration too strong, or your sug- 
gestions offensive. Our only fear was, that the leading men of Massachusetts would 
lack boldness. We groan and sweat under domestic tyranny, as much as our brethren 
in the New-England States; we turn an anxious eye on your proceedings, and receive 
your speech as a pledge of actions suitable to such language. Our only chance for 
relief and salvation depends on the vigor and intrepidity of the New-England States. 
There is a short and sure road to relief; and, sooner or later, it must be taken. The 
South and West will continue to govern us as long as the North and East are willing 
to be governed." 

What John Eandolph, who belonged to no party, thought of this oration, is thus 
expressed to one of his correspondents: "Mr. Quincy sent me a copy of his speech of 
the 30th of last month. It is a composition of much ability and depth of thought; 
but it indicates a spirit and a temper to the North which is more a subject of regret 
than of surprise. The grievances of Lord North's administration were but a feather in 
the scale, when compared with those inflicted by Jefferson and Madison." (Garland's 
" Life of John Randolph.") — Mr. Quincy is said to have been almost the only friend of 
Randolph with whom he never quarrelled. 


between the free Atlantic States and the free inland States, 
new as well as old, which, in a great national struggle, were 
almost sure to enlist them on the same side. Neither could 
he foresee that vast network of railroad communication which 
is now doing so much to bind together the East and the West, 
and secure the prosperity of both. 

Moreover, the theory of the Constitution advanced by him 
in Congress, and re-affirmed, as we understand it, in this ora- 
tion, is not that which is now generally held, at least by loyal 
men. How can any State or section of States proceed " to 
discuss and decide " the perilous question, whether the Con- 
stitution has been violated, or not, without usurping the 
authority which that very Constitution has expressly dele- 
gated to the Supreme Court ? So that, even if the Constitu- 
tion were to be regarded as a simple and ordinary " compact," 
dependent for its obligation on the continued fulfilment of all 
its conditions, the right contended for could not be sustained. 
In point of fact, however, according to the highest authority 
on this subject, the Constitution, in strictness of language, is 
not a compact at all, but a government founded on a compact, — 
a government thenceforth resting on its own power to enforce 
its own will. " When the people agree to erect a govern- 
ment, and actually erect it, the thing is done, and the agree- 
ment is at an end. The compact is executed, and the end 
designed by it attained." * On this doctrine, and, as it would 
seem, on this doctrine alone, can a coerced Union, or a Union 
restored by force, be reconciled with republican principles or 
the right of self-government. 

At the same time, the enlightened and candid historian, in 
pronouncing judgment on the positions taken by the Federal- 
ists at the period now under consideration, will make large 
allowance for the difference between the circumstances under 

* Mr. Webster's Speech in the Senate of the United States, Feb. 16, 1833, in oppo- 
sition to the resolutions submitted by Mr. Calhoun. 


which they lived and thought, and those under which we live 
and think. It has been said of Tycho Brahe, that, with the 
evidence as it then stood, he was right in maintaining his false 
theory of the heavens against the true one of Copernicus. 
A similar remark is applicable to the leaders of Federalism 
at the time of which we are now speaking. The evidence, as 
it then stood, was often on their side, when the truth was not. 
Even in those respects in which their apprehensions or their 
policy have been overruled and set aside by experience, it 
has been by the experience which followed, and not by that 
which went before. Accordingly, it -may be said, that, when 
the old Federalists were wrong and the old Democrats right, 
it was, in many cases at least, because the former looked to 
reason and precedent, while the latter trusted in their feel- 
ings and instincts. How, indeed, was it possible for men 
acting year after year in a hopeless and continually decreas- 
ing minority, every new measure of public importance seem- 
ing to them a downward step, their imaginations haunted, 
meanwhile, by the excesses and issues of the French Revolu- 
tion, — how was it possible for such men, so circumstanced, 
not to lose more or less of their confidence in the stability of 
the existing Government, and in the popular will? Happily, 
however, Mr. Quincy lived to have his faith in both abundantly 
restored, and to see and acknowledge, even in those events 
which most perplexed him at the time, the hand of God. 

The appointment of Mr. Quincy to the bench of the Muni- 
cipal Court, in 1822, after he had been withdrawn from the 
practice of his profession for nearly twenty years, occasioned 
some surprise. But without much reason ; for the jurisdic- 
tion of this court was exclusively criminal, and he was known 
never to have remitted his attention to the best means of 
dealing with the suffering and dangerous classes, or to the 
changes made or contemplated in the criminal law. 

He retained this place but little more than a year; yet 
one of his decisions has permanently connected his name with 


the history of Law Reform. It was in the action against Mr. 
Buckingham, editor of the " New-England Galaxy/ 7 for a libel 
on J. N. Maffitt, a noted preacher of that day, which came up 
for trial in the December Term of 1822. The prosecuting offi- 
cer in this case had agreed to waive an advantage understood 
to be given him by the law as it then was, and to allow the 
defendant to prove the truth in evidence. But the Judge 
objected to this course, on the ground that, if the law of 
Massachusetts really and purposely excluded such testimony, 
the Court was not at liberty to permit its introduction merely 
on the plea of an agreement of parties. He then went into 
a full discussion of the legal point at issue, undertaking to 
deduce, from the Constitutional guaranty of a free press in 
this Commonwealth, that every one here has the right to 
publish the truth from good motives ; and hence the admissi- 
bility of the truth in evidence in all cases of prosecution for 
libel, — not, indeed, as being a justification in all cases, but as 
bearing essentially on the question of motive or intent to be 
decided by the jury. 

Objections were made at the time to both the substance 
and form of this ruling of the Judge ; and it does not appear 
to have been generally accepted as law.* In the very same 
court, when Mr. Buckingham was arraigned before it again 
for libel, in 1824, he was not allowed to prove the truth of 

* The decision was not only commented on in the newspapers, but called forth two 
considerable pamphlets. The first was " A Letter to the Hon. Josiah Quincy, Judge of 
the Municipal Court in the City of Boston, on the Law of Libel, as laid down by him 
in the Case of Commonwealth v. Buckingham. By a Member of the Suffolk Bar." 
It contests many of his positions, taking substantially the old "common-law" ground, 
that the sole object of public prosecutions for libel is to prevent breaches of the peace; 
and that, viewed in this light, the truth or falsehood of the statement is immaterial, — 
nay, that the truth of the statement often aggravates the evil. It was soon followed by 
" Reflections upon the Law of Libel, in a Letter addressed to a Member of the Suffolk 
Bar. By a Citizen; " in which the other side is argued with ability and discrimination, 
and the personalities in the " Letter" are successfully and indignantly repelled. Both 
of the pamphlets were published anonymously, the author of the •"Letter" not being 
known or suspected at the time by the author of the " Reflections." Afterwards, it was 
under stood that the former was Harrison Gray Otis, jun., and the latter, Edmund 
Kimball, then young lawyers in Boston. 


the publication, though it was asked for expressly, not as a 
justification, but to rebut the charge of malice. Still we are 
not to suppose that Mr. Quincy's courageous defence of a free 
press was without effect. There is every reason to believe, 
that his forcible statement of what the law ought to be, to- 
gether with the discussion to which it gave rise, had great 
weight in determining the Legislature of Massachusetts to 
pass an Act in 1827, granting, in express terms, to the defend- 
ant in prosecutions for libel, the very right which he had 
contended for on the ground of the common law controlled 
by the Constitution of the State. However this may be, it is 
certain that a law of libel, substantially the same with that 
laid down by Judge Quincy, has since been adopted in every 
State in the Union, either by statute, or by express provision 
of the Constitution. And the same is also true of England ; 
in short, wherever the press is unshackled, that is to say, 
wherever men are allowed to publish the truth, with good 
motives and for justifiable ends, whether in respect to "public 
characters " or private citizens. 

After serving his native city for fifteen months on the 
bench, Mr. Quincy accepted the more difficult and responsible 
office of its chief magistrate, which he held nearly six years. 
Boston owes much to the circumstance, that its most distin- 
guished citizens, men born and brought up there, and for this 
reason feeling a natural and just pride in its institutions and 
good name, have always been willing to take an active part 
in municipal affairs. The Revolutionary renown associated 
with the old town organization and the old name, together 
with a strong democratic fondness for transacting public busi- 
ness in popular assemblies, induced the inhabitants to reject 
several attempts to introduce a city government from as far 
back as 1784. At length, however, in 1821, the population 
had grown to be so large as to make the old system manifestly 
inadequate ; and a city charter was therefore obtained and 
finally adopted, though not without strenuous resistance in 


which Mr. Quincy participated to some extent.* Still, not- 
withstanding this opposition, when the canvass was opened 
for the first Mayor, he was put forward as a prominent candi- 
date, and actually received the largest number of votes at the 
first trial. But no choice being made, and serious political 
misunderstandings having arisen, he immediately withdrew 
his name, as did also the other candidates ; f and at the next 
trial Mr. John Phillips was elected by a union of all parties. 
Mr. Phillips retired at the end of the year, and was suc- 
ceeded by Mr. Quincy, who was inducted into office with 
the usual forms, May 1, 1823. 

In the short administration of his predecessor, little had 
been attempted, except to organize the new form of govern- 
ment, and put it in working order. All the great reforms 
so confidently anticipated from the change were still to be 
effected ; a work which could not have fallen into more faith- 
ful and resolute hands. 

One of Mr. Quincy's first objects was to carry into full 
effect a scheme commenced two years before, by a committee 
appointed by the town, of which he was chairman. Even at 

* Mr. Quincy is said, in the Memoir by his son, to have "strongly opposed this 
change, thinking that the old system of town government was the best adapted to the 
habits and wants of the citizens, and the least liable to abuses." Also, when he was 
first nominated for Mayor, it was objected, that he had been " the most zealous and 
active opponent of the city charter." That he was opposed to sorrfe parts of the new 
scheme and of the proposed charter, there can be no doubt; but that he wished to 
retain "the old system," is hardly consistent with what he says in his "Municipal 
History of Boston." He there tells us (p. 28), that "the impracticability of conduct- 
ing the municipal interests of the place under the form of Town Government" had 
become " apparent to the inhabitants." With seven thousand qualified voters convened 
in town-meeting, it was, as he goes on to show, " evidently impossible calmly to de- 
liberate and act;" and, in consequence, "a few busy- or interested individuals easily 
obtained the management of the most important affairs." 

| The other candidates were the Hon. Harrison Gray Otis, and the Hon. Thomas 
L. Winthrop. The following is Mr. Quincy's account of this political imbroglio: " When 
I promised a body of my fellow-citizens to stand, Otis was not in the field; he was a 
member of the United-States Senate, and his intention to run for the mayoralty was un- 
known to me. When informed he was a candidate, I solicited the Committee to whom 
my promise had been made to release me from it, as I had no wish to run against 
Mr. Otis; but they refused." 


that time, the abuses connected with the almshouse in Lev- 
erett Street had aroused public attention to the necessity of 
some change in the care of the poor, and of making some 
distinction between the virtuous and the vicious poor. In 
pursuance of this end, the committee just mentioned had al- 
ready purchased above sixty acres of land in South Boston, 
and erected upon it a House of Industry ; in order that the 
able-bodied among its inmates might find, in cultivating the 
ground, what was believed to be the most healthful, and at 
the same time the most profitable, employment. But the 
whole plan was in danger of being frustrated by a multitude 
of obstacles, growing partly out of lingering prejudices against 
the workhouse system, and partly out of the jealousy of offi- 
cials and the disputed jurisdiction of rival Boards, which it 
required all Mr. Quincy's courage and determination to over- 
come. Even with his utmost exertions, it was not until April, 
1825, that the last occupants of the almshouse were trans- 
ferred to South Boston. Meanwhile, a House of Correction 
had been built there under the same auspices ; and this was 
soon followed by the House of Reformation for Juvenile 
Offenders. There can be no doubt, that a large and growing 
city would have found it necessary sooner or later to make 
these or similar provisions. Still, it is to the credit of Mr. 
Quincy that he hastened the measure, and by hastening it 
was able to secure an eligible location for the experiment in 
the neighborhood, before the opportunity was for ever lost.* 
His attention was next called to the sanitary and police 
regulations, which, from the remissness or timidity of the 
authorities, had not kept pace with the growth of the city. 
No part of the present arrangement for securing cleanliness, 
comfort, and health, which is the just pride of the citizens, 

* For the sixty-three acres, which constituted at first the City Farm in South Bos- 
ton, only one hundred dollars an acre were given, though, before the signing of the 
deed, five hundred dollars were offered the original proprietor. Land in that vicinity 
soon afterwards rose to one thousand dollars an acre. 


was then in operation. For introducing it, they are mainly 
indebted to Mr. Quincy; and some notion of the extent of 
the reform may be gathered from the fact, that, under the 
new system, more than three thousand tons of dirt and decay- 
ing substances of every kind, accumulated on the wharves 
and in the narrow streets and alleys, were removed in a sin- 
gle month. "For the first time, on any general scale destined 
for universal application, the broom was used upon the streets. 
On seeing this novel spectacle of files of sweepers, an old 
and common adage was often applied to the new administra- 
tion of city affairs ; in good humor by some, in a sarcastic 
spirit by others." * 

Nor were his measures less prompt and decisive for sup- 
pressing social and moral nuisances ; one instance of which 
will suffice to illustrate the character of the new regime. By 
a strange anomaly, in one of the most orderly and decorous 
cities in the world, another Alsatia, on a small scale, had been 
suffered to grow up in a part of what was then called West 
Boston, where the law, and the officers appointed to enforce 
it, were openly set at defiance. 

" Twelve or fourteen houses of infamous character were openly 
kept, without concealment and without shame. The chief officer of the 
former police said to the Mayor, soon after his inauguration, ' There 
are dances there almost every night. The whole street is in a blaze 
of light from their windows. To put them down without a military 
force seems impossible: a man's life would not be safe who should 
attempt it. The company consists of highbinders, jail-birds, known 
thieves and miscreants, with women of the worst description. Mur- 
ders, it is well known, have been committed there, and more have been 

* Quincy's " Municipal History of Boston," p. 68. The bills of mortality afford a 
striking proof of the wisdom and effectiveness of these sanitary measures. For the ten 
years which preceded Mr. Quincy's accession to the mayoralty, in 1823, the annual 
average proportion of deaths to the population in Boston was about one to forty-two; 
during the next four years, it was less than one to fifty; and in the last three years of 
hisad ministration, ending with 1828, it was but one to fifty-seven. — Ibid., p. 267. It 
is understood, that the usual average of mortality in cities of equal population was at 
that time about one to forty -seven. 


suspected.' He was asked, ' if vice and villany were too strong for 
the police.' He replied, ' I think so ; at least, it has long been so in 
that quarter.' He was answered, ' There shall be at least a struggle 
for the supremacy of the laws.' " * 

In such a struggle, resolutely undertaken by Mr. Quincy, 
there could be no doubt about the issue. The whole district 
was put under ban ; all licenses were revoked ; a vigorous 
police was organized ; and, before the expiration of Mr. Quin- 
cy's first official term, that section of the city was as quiet 
and safe as any other.f 

But the most enduring monument of his services as Mayor 
is the Market-house which bears his name. At first, nothing 
more was contemplated than to extend the accommodations 
already afforded in the basement of Faneuil Hall. Even this, 
however, when brought up for consideration before a meeting 
of the citizens, was scouted by many as a wasteful extrava- 
gance, as " the mammoth project of the Mayor.' 7 But the 
scheme gradually expanded, until it embraced the opening of 
six new streets, and the erection of one of the finest and best 
appointed market-houses in the world. From beginning to 
end, Mr. Quincy was the soul of the enterprise ; never dis- 
couraged, indefatigable, freely incurring personal responsi- 
bility when it was necessary to further the object. It was, 
therefore, with no ordinary satisfaction that he was able to 

* Ibid., p. 102. 

f Mr. Quincy had been led thoroughly to investigate the great questions connected 
with pauperism and crime, and indeed with the whole subject of social evils and 
abuses, before being called upon to carry his principles into effect. This appears from 
the "Address of the Board of Trustees of the Massachusetts General Hospital," written 
by him in 1814; his " Report to the Legislature on the Pauper Laws of Massachusetts," 
in 1821 ; his " Reports on the subject of Pauperism and a House of Industry in the Town 
of Boston," in the same year; and his " Remarks on some of the Provisions of the Laws 
of Massachusetts affecting Poverty, Vice, and Crime," in 1822. These, for the time, 
are full and instructive papers. In fact, when we remember how much Mr. Quincy 
wrote and did at that early day for the public health and comfort, and to prevent or 
repress mendicity and crime, especially among the young, and what opposition he met 
with and overcame, it seems to us that he is better entitled than any other person to 
be called the Father of Social Science in this country, — a science now in such vogue. 


say, in his final Eeport on the subject, Nov. 13th, 1826, that 
the noble improvement was completed ; and this, too, without 
any addition to the taxes or pecuniary burdens of the city, 
present or to come. 

If this were the place for a full account of Mr. Quincy's 
mayoralty, it would be proper to speak of other things : es- 
pecially of his efforts to extend the advantages of the public 
schools ; of his reconstruction of the fire department, then 
for the first time made an independent and responsible body ; 
of his care to recover for the city an exclusive title to the 
"Kopewalk Lands/' west of Charles Street, now the Public 
Garden ; of the measures taken by him to defend the islands 
in the harbor against the inroads of the sea ; and of the first 
movements towards supplying the city with water.* It is 
not meant that every thing done under Mr. Quincy's admin- 
istration was done by him : on the contrary, he is eager, on 
several occasions, to acknowledge important aid from other 
members of the city government. Still he was the chief 
administrative and executive officer, and not a man to be so 
in name without being so in reality. Accordingly, it is im- 
possible to review his course as Mayor without being con- 
vinced, that, owing partly to the time and circumstances in 
which he entered on the office, and partly to his personal 
qualities, the city, in its municipal capacity, is under more 
and greater obligations to him, than to any other individual. 

Nevertheless, he was aware from the outset, that a faith- 
ful and uncompromising discharge of the duties of the chief 
magistracy would give offence, not only to individuals, but 
to whole classes. In his first Inaugural Address, he intimated 
that an amount of discontent would thus be gradually ac- 
cumulated, which must sooner or later exclude him from 
office. And so it proved. Twice he was re-elected, almost 

* The first surveys and estimates for supplying Boston with water by aqueduct 
were made by Professor Tread well, at the request of Mr. Quincy, in 1825. 


unanimously ; but, after that, an organized and growing oppo- 
sition began to manifest itself, which was at length successful. 
When a candidate for the sixth time, in December, 1828, he 
still had a decided plurality of the votes ; but, after failing 
on two trials to obtain the requisite majority, he definitively 
withdrew. Mr. Quincy's own account of the whole affair, as 
given in his " Address on Taking Final Leave of the Office of 
Mayor," is characteristic. 

" In all this there is nothing uncommon or unprecedented. The 
public officer who, from a sense of public duty, dares to cross strong 
interests in their way to gratification at the public expense, always has 
had, and ever will have, meted to him the same measure. The beaten 
course is, first to slander in order to intimidate ; and, if that fail, then 
to slander in order to sacrifice. He who loves his office better than 
his duty, will yield and be flattered, — as long as he is a tool. He 
who loves his duty better than his office will stand erect, — and take 
his fate." 

This is not the language of a demagogue, nor of a disap- 
pointed office-seeker; nor yet of an adroit politician: some, 
indeed, may think that a more conciliating manner might 
have saved his popularity, without involving any important 
sacrifice of principle. However this may be, it is certain 
that his most determined opponents never whispered against 
him the charge of official corruption, or of selfish or by 
ends ; much less that of negligence or inaction. On the con- 
trary, one of the principal complaints was, that he took too 
much on himself; that he placed himself at the head of all 
important Committees, and prepared all important Reports ; 
that there was no place which was not " vexed by his pres- 
ence." To give a single example : it was his custom to mount 
his horse at daybreak, and traverse the streets and lanes of 
the city, that he might see every thing with his own eyes. 
There were those, of course, to whom such incessant vigi- 
lance and activity were unwelcome ; and they revenged them- 
selves by calling it " officiousness " and " intermeddling." So 


far was this feeling carried, that, on one occasion, he was actu- 
ally arraigned before the Police Court for fast riding, when 
thus engaged in the public business, — to the danger, as it 
was said, of other passengers. Two witnesses testified to the 
fact. Mr. Quincy appeared, and pleaded " Not guilty," being 
sure that no risk whatever had been incurred ; at the same 
time, he was willing that judgment should be entered against 
him, and the fine and costs imposed, "-to show that no indi- 
vidual could be placed above the law." 

The only other popular topic insisted on against him was 
the City Debt. Of course, it was impossible to carry through 
the large public improvements instituted by him without large 
public expenditure. Still he considered his defence complete, 
inasmuch as he could say, that the taxes had not increased in 
a ratio equal to the actual increase of property and popula- 
tion. Nay, more : he triumphantly asks, u Have I not a right 
to assert, according to the usual and justifiable forms of ex- 
pression under circumstances of this kind, that, so far as 
respects the operations of the Administration now passing 
away, they have left the city incumbered with NO debt ; 
because they have left it possessed of a newly-acquired real 
property, far greater, in marketable value, than the whole 
debt it has incurred?" For these reasons, in concluding his 
farewell Address, he did not hesitate to exclaim, in the noble 
language used by the Hebrew magistrate on a similar occa- 
sion, " Behold ! here I am : witness against me. Whom have 
I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? at whose hands have 
I received any bribe ? " 

Mr. Quincy was now fifty-seven years old. For most of 
the time since arriving at manhood, he had held, as we have 
seen, important civil trusts ; but this did not hinder him from 
taking an active part in the principal literary and scientific 
associations of the day, and in all well-concerted measures for 
the improvement of society, — a circumstance to be noticed 
here, because it doubtless had quite as much to do in prepar- 



ing the way, and suggesting his fitness, for his next appoint- 
ment, as the public stations he had filled. 

He was an early member of the American Academy of 
Arts and Sciences, and of the Massachusetts Historical So- 
ciety. For many years he was a Trustee of Phillips Acad- 
emy in Andover, and of the Theological Institution engrafted 
on it, and an Overseer of Harvard University. His duties at 
Washington, as a Representative in Congress, prevented him 
from being a member of the Anthology Club : but he was a 
zealous and liberal promoter of the Boston Athenaeum, which 
grew out of that Club; and on leaving Congress, in 1813, he 
was made one of its Trustees. He was re-elected to this place, 
without intermission, for the next fifteen years ; and for the 
last nine of them, and until his removal to Cambridge, he 
was President of the Institution. He also belonged to the 
first Board of Trustees of the Massachusetts General Hos- 
pital, and wrote the Address to the Public, in 1814, which 
resulted in raising the necessary funds for that noble charity. 
In 1824, Harvard College conferred on him the honorary de- 
gree of Doctor of Laws. 

Nor should the military episode in Mr. Quincy's life be 
passed over in silence. It was in the disturbed times which 
preceded and attended our last war with England ; when all 
thoughtful men felt the necessity there was to strengthen 
the hands of the government against invasion or insurrection 
from whatever quarter it might come. Under these circum- 
stances, the Hussars, a troop of cavalry, splendidly mounted 
and equipped, was raised among the gentlemen of Boston and 
the vicinity in 1810, and Mr. Quincy was elected Captain. 
Afterwards he was promoted to the .command of a squadron of 
horse, consisting of the Hussars and Dragoons, with the rank 
of Major. The Memoir, so often quoted, goes on to say, — 

" His great personal advantages of face and figure, set off by his 
superb uniform, and by his fine charger * Bayard,' white as snow, still 
dwell in the memory of the older inhabitants of Boston as the finest 


sight of man and horse they ever saw. At the peace, this corps was 
disbanded, its expensiveness being extreme ; and he closed his military 
life. His horse ' Bayard,' oddly enough, was afterwards exported to 
Hayti, and became the favorite charger of the black king Christophe." 

The ancestral estate in Quincy, bequeathed to him by his 
grandfather, came into his possession in 1798, and was ever 
afterwards, except while he was President of Harvard Col- 
lege, his summer residence. Here his attention was naturally 
turned to scientific and experimental farming, which he en- 
tered into, especially after resigning his seat in Congress, 
with his accustomed enthusiasm ; his failures and successes, 
as is usual in such cases, being almost equally instructive 
to his neighbors and the public. He also became a leading 
member of the Massachusetts Agricultural Society, and con- 
tributed several valuable papers to the journal published un- 
der its auspices. Thus his year was about equally divided 
between his house in Boston and his house in Quincy, both 
of which were centres of a large and generous hospitality to 
his friends and to distinguished strangers. As his family 
were with him in his first winters at Washington, he had no 
occasion for his house in Pearl Street, before mentioned, and 
it was therefore leased, and never returned to. Afterwards, 
his town residence was successively in Oliver Street on Fort 
Hill, in Summer Street, and in Hamilton Place, — the last 
during his Mayoralty, and until his removal to Cambridge. 

Dr. Kirkland had resigned the presidency of Harvard Col- 
lege in April, 1828. The place was still vacant at the end 
of the year, when, by the result of the election for Mayor in 
Boston, Mr. Quincy, as we have seen, was relieved from all 
public cares ; and the attention of the Corporation was imme- 
diately turned on him as Dr. Kirkland's successor. He was 
chosen President of the University, January 15th, 1829. Up 
to this time, his mind had been mainly intent on political 
and civil affairs : for the sixteen years which followed, includ- 
ing all that remained of his public life, he threw himself, with 


characteristic singleness and earnestness of purpose, into 
his newly appointed work. It was a great change ; and 
the feelings with which he contemplated it are best ex- 
pressed in the following answer, under date of January 
24th, to a very kind and cordial letter of welcome from 
the elder Dr. Ware : — 

" I need not say to you, Sir, how little the contemplated station has 
been to me an object of ambition, or even of desire. Not that it does 
not in itself include sufficient to render it a just object of the highest 
ambition and purest desire ; but because, until it was proposed to me, it 
had never come within the scope of any thought or project of my life. 

" When it was presented to my option, it was contemplated solely 
in the light of duty ; and when my reflections resulted in a determina- 
tion to accept, in case the appointing and sanctioning Boards should 
concur, I am not conscious that self-interest threw any weight into the 
preponderating scale. On the contrary, I feel that I am about to make 
great sacrifices of personal comfort, and to engage in new duties at a 
great disadvantage, both from my period of life and my previous habits, 
— that the result is dubious, as it respects not only my happiness, but 
my reputation. 

" From all that I knew of the state of the interior of the Semi- 
nary, as well as from what I was apprized was seriously contemplated in 
this city, I could not but realize that the affairs of it were at a crisis, 
which made it the duty of every well-wisher to it to apply his strength 
in whatever way those intrusted with its superintendence deemed use- 
ful. Under the circumstances in which, by a singular course of Provi- 
dence, I found myself placed, I could not refrain from believing that so 
extraordinary and unexpected a proposition, made at such a moment, 
indicated an imperious and not to be questioned duty. 

" Throwing aside, therefore, personal considerations, and every other 
but this leading sense of obligation, I resolved, that, if called by the 
conjunct authorities of the University, I would undertake a task which 
I do not even yet know how it will be in my power to execute. 

" I beg you, Sir, to be assured, and request you to assure the other 
gentlemen of the Faculty, that, if events should call me to that station, 
I shall enter upon it, pursuing no theories, subject to no schemes, with 
no projects ; that I come free of pledge to change or to continue any 
thing that is done or in existence at the Seminary ; and with a cordial 


desire to harmonize with, as I honor, every member of that Board. 
An absolute self-devotion to the interests of the Seminary is all that I 

The election of Mr. Quincy was confirmed by the Over- 
seers, January 29th, and he was inaugurated with the cus- 
tomary formalities on Tuesday, the 2d of June.* Until the 
induction of President Kirkland, in 1810, all the inaugural 
exercises excepting the prayers, had been in Latin. With 
him began the practice of delivering the Inaugural Dis- 
course in English ; but neither his nor Mr. Quincy's was 
printed. The latter contained a forcible statement of the 
importance of adapting the methods and processes of edu- 
cation to the wants of the people and the spirit of the 
age ; together with an earnest protest against an unreason- 
able urging of change, and the propensity in this country 
to multiply colleges, instead of building up and properly en- 
dowing a few. 

At the inauguration, as well as in the letter just quoted 
and on other occasions, he speaks of his surprise on being 
called to preside over the University, and at the total change 
it would require in his habits of life, and this, too, at a some- 
what advanced period of life. Nevertheless, it was a per- 
fectly natural appointment. Mr. Quincy had always been a 
favorite and honored son of the University, and had stood up 
for her courageously, on more than one occasion, when her 
rights were threatened. He had also kept up his scholarly, 
and especially his classical, tastes and studies throughout all 
the vicissitudes of his public career, and, by his published 

* The votes of the Overseers were forty for concurring, and twenty-six against it. 
The opposition was made up partly of those who objected to him on political or secta- 
rian grounds, and partly of those who thought that the President of the College should 
be a clergyman, as had been the usage hitherto, with the single exception of Judge 
Leverett, and he was 1 a Bachelor of Divinity, and had preached for a short period. The 
confirmation was strenuously resisted by writers in the " Boston Recorder" and the 
" Boston Statesman." 


speeches, orations, addresses, and reports, and his contribu- 
tions to the newspapers and magazines,* had won an acknowl- 
edged place among the literary men of the country. Nor 
should we forget in this connection the " Memoir" of his father, 
which he had given to the world in 1825, and of which Mr. 
Webster said, " It is one of the most interesting books I ever 
read, and brings me nearer than any other to the spirit which 
caused the American Revolution." Above all, he had a dis- 
tinguished name and large connections and influence, and 
was known to be a man of experience and skill in affairs, of 
untiring assiduity, and of great vigor in government, — quali- 
ties in which the College was then supposed to be especially 
in want. A writer in the " Boston Statesman," though op- 
posed to the appointment on sectarian grounds, felt obliged 
to say, " For Mr. Quincy I have a very high regard ; and I 
think him possessed, in a high degree, of some of the qualifi- 
cations for the chief executive office in the University. I 
utterly disclaim any design, in the remarks I am about to 
make, of calling in question his personal or literary qualifica- 

* Newspaper " editorials," as they are now termed, were almost unknown in Mr. 
Quincy' s early days, their place being supplied by articles, or series of articles, con- 
tributed anonymously, or under some popular pseudonym, by the leading and active 
minds of the day. Mr. Quincy did his full share of this work ; but it is no longer easy 
to identify his contributions. The "Port Folio," in Philadelphia, was edited by his 
classmate, Joseph Dennie ; and on this account, as well as from sympathy with its high 
political tone, he is supposed to have been a not unfrequent contributor to it. A long 
series of papers, headed " Climenole," and running through almost the. whole of the 
fourth volume, for 1804, is ascribed to his pen. It is an ironical satire on the Democratic 
party, which probably had an interest and significance at the time, now lost. He also 
wrote occasionally for the " Monthly Anthology." He is the author of an extended and 
elaborate Review of Fisher Ames's Works, begun in the number for November, 1809, and 
continued through several successive numbers. Of course the article is highly laudatory: 
it could not be otherwise, in speaking of one of the greatest and best men this country 
has produced. But it is also discriminating, and shows a consciousness of the weak side 
of many of the Federal attacks on the dominant party. " He was," says the reviewer, 
" a partizan warrior, perpetually dashing into the very centre of the hostile camp, dis- 
turbing the sleep of the commander, and depriving his guards of repose; but the result 
of his efforts was rather brilliant than decisive. He brought awaj' more marks of honor 
than trophies of victory ; and obtained more evidences than rewards of prowess. His 
virtues and skill were the delight and admiration of his friends ; but it does not appear 
that he made any durable impression on his enemies." 


tions, or of making even an insinuation unfavorable to his 

In one respect, however, he certainly was unprepared 
for his new duties, being without any experience whatever, 
either in the details of teaching or in the order and govern- 
ment of a large literary institution. As a practical man, he 
knew how serious this deficiency was ; but he also knew in 
what way it could be supplied. For the first six months of 
his presidency, he gave himself entirely to the study of the 
processes of instruction and discipline, as they went on under 
his eyes ; acting, meanwhile, under the constant advisement 
of Professor Ware, for whose judgment in these matters he 
always entertained the highest respect. It was not until 
after this, so far as the internal arrangements of the College 
were concerned, that he began to have an opinion of his own, 
and to cause his influence to be felt. It may also be men- 
tioned, as illustrating his nice sense of justice, that, while 
Professor Ware was thus helping him to govern the College, 
he insisted on his receiving a portion of the President's 

With these qualifications, and in this spirit, he began his 
long administration, — only four of the twenty have been 
longer, — an administration which will ever hold an honor- 
able place in the annals of the College, whether regard be 
had to its internal or external relations. 

In what he did for its internal discipline, there was nothing 
which he looked back upon with more satisfaction than his 
success in introducing the practice of appealing to the laws 
of the land in cases of grave offence committed by members 
of the University. The measure had been resorted to before 
in rare and exceptional instances, but Mr. Quincy made it to 
be a part of the recognized policy of the College, and caused 
it to be inserted as such in the College Code. It was not 
so much for the purpose of bringing the students under new 
penalties, as of obtaining the means, through the grand jury, 


of compelling testimony under oath, and so of bringing to light 
the real culprits. Examinations before the Faculty were often 
worse than useless. What was called " College morality " 
justified all kinds of prevarication and subterfuge to screen 
the guilty ; or, if the witness shrank from such a course, 
what was called " College honor," constrained him to refuse 
to testify, thus taking the punishment on himself. In a long 
address to the students, in October, 1829, announcing and re- 
commending the new policy, he thus accounts for the origin 
of these abuses : — 

• " The reason is, that youth are here denied the common principles 
of examination and trial, by which alone truth can be maintained and 
error detected. The Board charged with these investigations are en- 
trusted with none of those powers by which alone society defends its 
safety and property. Had the tribunals of justice no other means of 
enforcing the discovery of truth than those possessed by the Faculty 
of a college, society could not exist a day." 

A few years afterwards, in the serious College disturb- 
ances of 1834, the courts of law were again resorted to, and 
indictments were found against three students. The proceed- 
ing occasioned some uneasiness, as well within as without 
academic circles, and was finally brought up for consideration 
before the Overseers ; which led Mr. Quincy to undertake be- 
fore that Board a still more elaborate defence of the policy 
in question. In the course of the argument he observes, — 

" Farther reflection, however, led to the conclusion that the so-called 
i College morality ' itself, complained of above, was not so much the 
effect of any peculiar perversity in the youthful mind, arising from 
influences existing within the sphere of a college, as the natural and 
even necessary consequence of a pretended immunity from the laws of 
the State. When once the certainty of being examined under oath 
and confronted with each other, as in courts of justice, is established,, 
the power of obtaining impunity by falsehood is taken away, and with 
this the temptation to commit it. Of all principles of moral corrup- 
tion, in youth or manhood, that is the surest and most effectual which 
places the individual above or beyond the sanctions of the law." . . . 


"The notion that this exemption from the laws of the land is a 
privilege to students, is of all opinions the most false and fallacious. 
A privilege ! To whom ? Not to the orderly and well-disposed. To 
these it is an oppressive and insupportable evil. By the effect of such 
exemption they are deprived of the character of compelled witnesses? 
and obliged to take that of voluntary informers, if they speak the 

The whole subject was then referred by the Overseers to a 
Committee, John Quincy Adams being the chairman, who, in 
an able and extended report, approved of every thing which 
the President and Faculty had done ; and the resolutions 
embodying the sense of the report were " unanimously " 
adopted by the Board.* The good effects of the new deter- 
mination were not, perhaps, so immediate or so considerable 
as expected: up to this hour, indeed, it has been but im- 
perfectly carried out • but there can be no doubt that it 
was the beginning of a more efficient administration of col- 
lege discipline. It is probably one of the causes which, for a 
quarter of a century, have prevented the recurrence of an 
open and general " rebellion " against the College authorities, 
— formerly so frequent, almost periodic. It is also thought 
to have done much to save the College from those violent col- 
lisions between officers and students, sometimes ending in 
homicide, by which similar institutions in this country have 
been troubled. In every instance of mere college mischief, 

* Alluding in the Report to certain strictures which the Senior Class had seen fit, in 
their published account of the disturbances, to pass on the Head of the College, Mr. 
Adams says, " For nearly five and forty years, since President Quincy took, as a mem- 
ber of the then Senior Class of Harvard University, at the close of his career as a student, 
the highest honors of the Seminary, his life, his deportment, his manners, may emphati- 
cally be said to have been exhibited in the pi*esence of all his brethren. The life of no 
man of his cotemporaries has been more constantly under the eye of the public. It is 
not for this Committee to pronounce his panegyric : to many members of this Board he 
was long familiarly and intimately known, before any one member of the present Senior 
Class of Harvard University was born. He was known to their fathers, — known to 
many of their grandsires, in multiplied relations of life, public and private. It was re- 
served for the circular of tbe Senior Class of Harvard University to convey, in doubting 
and dubious terms, an imputation upon his sincerity and integrity." 



the prosecution has led to confession ; whereupon the prose- 
cution has been withdrawn, the College falling back on col- 
lege punishments as soon as the real culprits were known. 

There was another subject intimately connected with the 
peace of the College and its proper relations to the commu- 
nity, by which Mr. Quincy's mind was much exercised. It 
will be remembered that the people were beginning, at this 
time, to be divided and intensely exasperated on a multitude 
of new questions and new projects. In the ordinary relations 
of life, he was not a man, as we have seen, to counsel or 
practise timid reserves or a non-committal policy. But he 
felt that a retreat for study should be kept as far removed as 
possible from the noisy and distracting strifes of the hour. 
Moreover, he was eminently a just man. He knew that he 
had no right to use the influence, or complicate the interests 
and prospects of a great public institution placed under his 
care, as he might his own. He knew that Harvard College 
belonged to no party, or sect, or clique ; and he therefore 
strove, both by example and authority, to keep it free from 
all such entanglements on the one side or the other. 

Thus, in 1838, having been informed that a discussion was 
announced for the evening, in some society belonging to the 
Divinity School, " on the subject of ' Abolition,' as it is called," 
and that very general invitations had been given to the un- 
dergraduates, and to the members of the respective schools, 
to attend on the occasion, he hastened to apprise the Theolo- 
gical Faculty of the fact, and to express his regret and con- 
cern on account of it. In the course of this communication 
he observes : il Whatever may be your or my private opinion 
on the main question, I think there can be but one in the 
minds of prudent men, that, in the state of excessive excita- 
bility of the public mind on this topic abroad, it is desirable 
not to introduce it obtrusively into a seminary of learning, 
composed of young men from every quarter of the country ; 
among whom are many whose prejudices, passions, and inter- 


ests are deeply implicated and affected by these discussions, 
and who feel very naturally and strongly on the subject." 
Again, in 1840,. he writes to a tutor, reminding him of the 
circumstances which attended his appointment : " I then dis- 
tinctly stated to you, that there was no sense of official duty 
more imperative in my mind than that of keeping Harvard 
College out of every party vortex, and that I held it an incum- 
bent duty of every officer of the Institution to abstain from 
any act tending to bring within its walls discussions upon 
questions on which the passions and interests of the com- 
munity are divided, and warmly engaged, without doors." 

For several years, many of the friends of the College had 
been urging important reforms in its course and methods of 
instruction, rendered necessary, as it was said, by the wants 
of the community and the advanced state of science. Lit- 
tle, however, had as yet been done towards maturing these 
schemes, and carrying them into effect ; and one of the hopes 
entertained on the appointment of Mr. Quincy was, that they 
would soon begin to feel the effects of that indomitable spirit 
of activity and progress which he had just been evincing as 
Mayor. And this hope was not disappointed. In June, 1830, 
he submitted to the Board of Overseers " A General Plan of 
Studies," designed " chiefly to effect a more thorough edu- 
cation in the Greek and Latin languages, the Mathematics, 
and Rhetoric." According to the new program, the hours 
given to the first three studies above mentioned are nearly 
doubled, without lessening the amount of instruction in the 
other departments. Here, certainly, was early evidence of 
activity and progress ; but not, it must be confessed, in the 
popular direction. Most of the reformers believed that abun- 
dant time was given already to mathematical and classical 
studies: what they wanted was, that more room should be 
made, at least for such as desired it, for the moral and physi- 
cal sciences and the modern languages. They demanded, in 
short, that a much larger privilege of selection among dif- 


ferent studies should be allowed ; that classes should be 
divided into sections, according to talent and proficiency ; 
that examinations should be rendered more thorough and 
effective ; that rank should be determined by a carefully and 
elaborately prepared scale of merit ; and that the College 
should be open to students wishing to avail themselves of 
its means of instruction in particular departments, without 
being candidates for a degree.* 

Mr. Quincy is understood to have had his doubts, from 
the beginning, as to the wisdom or practicability of some 
of these propositions. Nevertheless, as they had been re- 
peatedly recommended and insisted on, and sometimes by 
the authorities of the College, he was sincerely desirous, 
acting in concert with the Faculty, to put them to the test 
of experience. And it was remarkable in Mr. Quincy, that, 
whenever he felt called upon to execute a plan, he threw 
his whole soul into it, forgetting all objections and misgivings 
he may himself have once entertained, and acting as if the 
entire scheme, from its inception, was his own. This appears 
in the course he took in 1832, respecting what was then 
called, " The Minimum Scheme." It consisted in establish- 
ing a minimum in every important branch, which was re- 
quired of all as the condition of a degree. But " any number 
of students in any class, not less than six, wishing to attain 
this minimum in an early part of the College course, might 
form a section for that purpose." Having effected this object, 
they were free to elect what studies they would afterwards 

* See on this subject a Report of a Committee of the Overseers in 1824, of which 
Judge Story and Mr. John Pickering were active members; "Remarks on a Report of 
a Committee of the Overseers of Harvard College, proposing certain Changes in the In- 
struction and Discipline of the College. By One, lately a Member of the Immediate 
Government" [Professor Norton], 1824; "Remarks on Changes lately proposed or 
adopted in Harvard University. By George Ticknor, Smith Professor, &c," 1825; 
" Speech of John Pickering, Esq., before the Board of Overseers," published in the 
"American Statesman," for Feb. 1, 1825; and an article on "Reform of Harvard Col- 
lege," in the "United-States Literary Gazette," begun June 15, and continued through 
successive issues to Dec. 1, 1825, by Dr. Gamaliel Bradford. 


pursue, and " be formed into sections in reference to those 
studies, without regard to classes" Again, in the following 
year, he was equally in earnest for another plan, which con- 
sisted in confining the required study of Greek, Latin, and 
Mathematics to the Freshman and Sophomore Classes, so that 
students who were unprepared in those studies might enter 
the Junior Class, and take a two-years 7 college course in In- 
tellectual, Moral, and Political Philosophy, in the Physical 
Sciences, and in the Modern Languages. The latter would 
not be entitled to a degree ; but, in lieu thereof, they were 
to receive a diploma specifying what they had done. 

Both of these projects fell through, because they were 
found to require a larger staff of instruction than the Col- 
lege had at its disposal. But in other respects he was more 
successful • especially in the measures agreed upon to secure 
a perfectly reliable scale of merit, an improved method of 
public examinations, and a large extension of the elective 
system. For a time, indeed, the elective system was car- 
ried so far as to allow any student to discontinue the study 
of Greek, Latin, and Mathematics, one or all, at the end of 
the Freshman year, choosing a substitute out of several stud- 
ies proposed, among which were the Modern Languages. 
Many were alarmed at this bold innovation, thinking it little 
better than an abandonment of the classics altogether; so 
much so, that Mr. Quincy felt called upon to come forward 
in its defence, in " Remarks on the Nature and Probable 
Effects of introducing the Voluntary System/ 7 addressed to 
the Board of Overseers, in 1841. He argues thus: — 

" Now, what possible objection can there be to permitting parents 
or guardians, who know the character, aptitudes, and destination of 
their sons or wards, to decide the question for them ? Is it possible, 
in the nature of things, that what is best in every individual case can 
be better decided by the principles of a general system than by the 
intelligence of the natural guardians of a young man, acting upon a 
knowledge of his peculiar powers, temperament, and objects in life ? 


If a parent chooses that his son shall not spend more than one college 
year in imbuing his mind with a knowledge of Greek and Latin, what 
concern has the College or the friends of classical literature in the 
matter, provided he do not obstruct others in attaining it? How 
much less concern, then, have they, — rather, how much reason to en- 
courage and rejoice in this voluntary secession from these studies, when 
the direct effect must be to aid, and take obstructions from the path of, 
those who engage ardently in the pursuit of these languages ! . . . 

" A college which should send forth only two-thirds, or even one- 
half, of its graduates, thoroughly educated by a known and seen stand- 
ard, by which they were faithfully tried and rejected if found wanting, 
and if approved receive the appropriate honor, will do more for the 
cause of classical learning, than twenty colleges who send forth all 
their members tried by no standard, without any evidence of attain- 
ment, except having passed through a prescribed process, and where 
wdiat they have done is matter of faith and not of sight." 

If it should still be objected that he did not do as much as 
was expected for academic reform, the answer is found in the 
fact that he did more than the College has been able to re- 
tain. At the present moment, though a re-action is under- 
stood to be now going on in favor of the elective or proper 
University system, that principle is not carried out and ap- 
plied to any thing like the same extent as under President 
Quincy's administration. Moreover, we must not shut our 
eyes to another fact, — namely, that there was, and is, a seri- 
ous difficulty in the way, though one, we are glad to say, that 
is continually lessening.* A large proportion of our Fresh- 

* In the four consecutive years, beginning with 1806, the average age of students 
entering Harvard College, was sixteen years and four months ; in the four consecutive 
years beginning with 1820, it was sixteen years and eleven months; in the four con- 
secutive years beginning with 1860, it was seventeen years and eight months. But there 
is another view to be taken of the comparative age of the students, which makes the 
change more noteworthy. In the first two of the above-mentioned groups of classes, 
many entered under fifteen, and nearly half under sixteen ; while in the last, out of four 
hundred and seventy-seven admitted, there was but one under fifteen, and only eighteen 
under sixteen. This change has been brought about, for the most part, by the higher 
character and greater strictness of the examination for admission ; but, if more is now 
exacted, it is almost exclusively in one branch, the ancient languages, and is not under- 
stood to involve any essential change of general policy. A vast amount of rudimental 


man and Sophomore Classes, whether regard be had to their 
age or studies, ought rather to be at some public school 
or gymnasium. The instruction required, or most of it at 
least, might be given there to better advantage, at less ex- 
pense, and with far less moral exposure. As things now are, 
it may certainly be said, with no little show of reason, of 
these classes at least, that they have not as yet completed the 
general and preliminary studies which are necessary to a 
liberal education ; and therefore that, for them, the time has 
not come to talk about dropping one study, and taking up 
another. And besides, even if they were to do so, who sup- 
poses that the mere right of selection among a crowd of ele- 
mentary studies will make a university ? Undoubtedly these 
elementary studies must first be attended to and mastered ; 
but a university is not the place for it. Whenever Harvard 
College is ready to take the stand of leaving all rudimentary 
and drill teaching to the preparatory seminaries, and open its 
doors wide to persons of maturity, and to them alone, — that 
is to say, to persons who must be presumed to know what 
high special teaching they are fitted for and require, — the 
Voluntary or Elective System, without restriction or limita- 

instruction is still expected and provided for in the College : it is, however, an important 
gain, that more than a year has been added to the average age of the students. 

Some are disposed to counsel contentment with things as they are, on the ground, 
that, as our colleges have grown up amidst our wants, they must be suited to them. But 
this is a fallacy. Though our colleges have grown up amidst our wants, they have never 
been what the country really required, but only what it was in a condition to do for the 
time being, — a compromise between our wants and our means. Again, there are those 
who are willing that the College should sink into a mere preparatory department for the 
Professional and Scientific Schools, the latter to be regarded as the University proper. But 
the sons of Harvard will be slow to acquiesce in this view. ' It is hardly necessary to add, 
that the advocates of change have no wish to slight or crowd out the classics and the pure 
mathematics : on the contrary, they would provide the means of a much higher instruc- 
tion in both, as well as in every other branch of liberal culture, for such as wish it, and will 
give the time to it. As for what is said about the disciplinary effect of different studies, 
it applies almost exclusively to boj-s. After the mind has attained a certain degree of 
maturity and independence, we suspect that the amount of intellectual discipline any 
study affords will depend in no small measure on the interest taken in it, or the pref- 
erence from some cause felt for it; in short, on the student's " working with a will." 


tion, will follow as a matter of course, and the College will 
become a proper university; — then, and except in a very 
imperfect degree, not until then. 

We have dwelt on Mr. Quincy's efforts to improve the dis- 
cipline and instruction of the College proper, because this 
was a care that was always on his mind ; but it did not tempt 
him to overlook or neglect any other branch or interest of 
the University. Witness the new impulse which was almost 
immediately given to the Law School. Provision had been 
made, it is true, several years before, for giving legal instruc- 
tion in the University ; and this had been done with ability 
and success, but on a comparatively limited scale. The Law 
School, as at present constituted, may be said to date from 
the inauguration of Judge Story and Mr. Ashmun as pro- 
fessors, which took place Aug. 25, 1829, — a few months after 
President Quincy entered upon office. He had much to do 
with the change ; and it was also owing, in no small measure, 
to his activity and perseverance, that funds were found for 
the erection of Dane Hall, in 1832. Writing, about this time, 
to the Hon. Nathan Dane, of Beverly, who had founded a 
new professorship, and after whom the new Hall was named, 
he says, " The School is flourishing beyond all expectation. 
It already consists of thirty-five members. Five or six more 
are known to contemplate joining it, and others are antici- 
pated. We think ourselves justified in calculating with cer- 
tainty on forty members, and I have reason to think it will 
exceed that number." Before Mr. Quincy resigned his office, 
the number had grown to be one hundred and sixty-three, 
collected from almost every State in the Union. 

His attention was soon drawn to another important object. 
The College Library, which had become considerable, and 
the loss of which would have been in some respects irre- 
trievable, was still in the upper story of Harvard Hall, where 
it was neither conveniently nor safely provided for. He saw 
that a new building had become necessary ; and his first step 


was to importune the Legislature for aid in erecting it ; — 
urging, among other things, that the first library of the Col- 
lege had been burnt, in 1764, together with the Hall in which 
it was deposited, while the latter was in temporary occupa- 
tion by the General Court ; and further, that the benefits of 
the Library, when increased as it was likely to be, would not 
accrue to the College alone, but to all scholars, and the public 
generally. Meeting, however, with no response from that 
quarter, he reluctantly consented, and induced a majority of 
the Corporation to consent, that a great part of Mr. Gore's 
large bequest, which was shackled by no conditions, should 
be devoted to this purpose. To him, therefore, under these 
circumstances, the College is indebted for Gore Hall, which 
was built in the years 1839-42. 

Another subject on which Mr. Quincy's thoughts were much 
occupied during the last years of his presidency, and indeed 
to the end of his life, was the Astronomical Observatory. A 
movement had been made by the Corporation as early as 
1815, probably the earliest in the country, for the establish- 
ment of such an institution; and another, in 1822; but neither 
was followed up by the energy necessary to success. Mr. 
Quincy, in a letter to John Quincy Adams, who had been 
among the most active in recommending the former attempts, 
gives the following account of the first steps taken by 
himself: — 

" Early in the year 1839, the President of the University being 
informed that Mr-. William Cranch Bond was engaged, under con- 
tract with the government of the United States, in a series of astro- 
nomical, meteorological, and magnetic observations at Dorchester, 
with reference to the Exploring Expedition of the United States then 
in the Southern Ocean, it occurred to him, that if Mr. Bond could be 
induced to transfer his residence and apparatus to Cambridge, and 
pursue his observations there under the auspices of the University, it 
would have an important influence in clearing the way for an estab- 
lishment of an efficient Observatory in connection with that seminary, 



by the increase of the apparatus at its command, by the interest 
which the observations making by Mr. Bond were calculated to ex- 
cite ; and, by drawing the attention of the citizens of Boston and its 
vicinity to the great inadequacy of the means possessed by the Uni- 
versity for efficient astronomical observations, create a desire and a 
disposition to supply them." 

Every thing succeeded according to his wishes and expecta- 
tions. Mr. Bond removed to Cambridge, where a temporary 
observatory had been fitted up for him in connection with the 
Dana House, situated within the college grounds. The neces- 
sary funds were immediately raised for purchasing additional 
instruments ; and a much larger sum soon afterwards, for 
erecting and equipping the present noble Observatory, which, 
under the direction of the two Bonds, father and son, has 
already reflected so much credit on the College and on Ameri- 
can science. Ground was broken for laying the foundation of 
the central pier, Aug. 15, 1843. To defray the current ex- 
penses of the establishment, the College received, in 1848, 
a bequest of a hundred thousand dollars from Mr. Edward 
Bromfield Phillips, a kinsman and former ward of Mr. Quin- 
cy ; and ten thousand dollars were also given by himself to 
the same object.* 

Time would fail, were we to undertake a full enumeration 
of the benefits accruing to Harvard College under President 
Quincy's administration. He found the whole number of 
students on his accession to office to be, including all depart- 
ments of the University, four hundred and one ; when he left, 
it was six hundred and twenty-one. He found a corps of 

* Mr. Quincy's donation was in fulfilment of his father's bequest of £2,000 ster- 
ling to the College, in case his son should die a minor. He used to say that the 
College should not be a loser for his unreasonableness in outliving the prescribed term. 
The donation makes part of the Publishing Fund of the Observatory; and he directed 
that the following insertion should be made in the titlepage of every volume, the 
expense of which is defrayed from this source: "Printed from Funds resulting from 
the Will of Josiah Quincy, Jun., who died in April, 1775, leaving a Name inseparably 
connected with the History of the American Revolution." The whole transaction was 
very characteristic of the donor. 


twenty-one professors and teachers ; he left a corps of twenty- 
nine. He found the College yard a narrow and irregular strip 
of land, less than two-thirds of what it is at present : he left 
it not only greatly enlarged, but bounded on all sides by 
public streets. He found the financial concerns of the College 
in considerable embarrassment : he left them in perfect order. 
He found the productive funds of the University amount- 
ing to $450,903.90 : he left them amounting to $706,615.24. 
Here too, without question, much was due to the ability 
and faithfulness of his colleagues in the government ; still, as 
was said before, Mr. Quincy was not a man to be nominally 
the efficient and controlling head of an institution without 
being really so. 

In the discharge of the current duties of his office as 
President of the University, he was as prompt, as unwearied, 
and as punctilious, as he had been in every previous public 
trust. An opinion had long prevailed, which was expressed 
and dwelt upon in the Report to the Overseers in 1824, that 
the President should be relieved u from the performance of 
merely ministerial duties," such as granting leave of absence, 
and attending to ordinary matters of discipline. But Mr. 
Quincy was the last man in the world to ask for or accept 
an exemption from work or care or responsibility, under 
whatever shape it might come. Even the details, the routine 
of the office, irksome as they have been thought, had a sort of 
fascination for his intensely active nature ; and he would listen 
to no suggestions of curtailment or assistance. He was al- 
ways in his place. For sixteen years he was never absent 
from the College chapel at morning prayers but once, and 
then on account of necessary absence from town on College 
business. Probably it was this entering into, and identifying 
himself with, every measure and movement of the University 
that rendered him so sensitive to attacks upon it. If more of 
these attacks had been left unnoticed, it might, perhaps, have 
been as well; especially when, as was sometimes the case, 


they originated in political or religious jealousies, which it 
was impossible either to silence or allay. All that many 
of the assailants hoped for was to raise a question and call 
forth an answer, knowing how injurious it is to an individual 
or an institution to be frequently coming before the public as 
defendant, no matter how able and successful each particular 
defence may be. 

But there was one instance in which his opposition to en- 
. croachments on the settled policy of the College deserves par- 
ticular mention, as it gave him an opportunity to express his 
profound sense of the obligations the College has been under 
to the Congregational clergy from its earliest days, and also to 
show that he was not one of those who are carried away 
by every new cry of " liberality." Until 1834, clergymen, 
to be eligible to the Board of Overseers, must be Congrega- 
tionalists ; but an Act was passed by the Legislature of that 
year, opening the Board to clergymen of all denominations, — 
the Act to take effect whenever accepted by both branches 
of the College government. That little or no general inter- 
est was taken in the proposition is evident from the fact, 
that it was allowed to slumber in the statute-book for nearly 
nine years, without inquiry or complaint from any quarter. 
At length a vote of the Overseers called the attention of the 
President and Fellows to the existence of this law, with a 
request that they would take the initiative on the question 
of its acceptance. Under these circumstances, Mr. Quincy 
brought up the subject for consideration, declaring, at the 
same time, his own opinion in a written and elaborate argu- 
ment against the measure ; in which, as usual, he is not a 
whit the less decided and confident, though perfectly aware 
the effort would be of no avail, and that he was likely to 
stand, as in fact he did, almost alone. As this document has 
never been printed, an extract or two, illustrative of his 
views of the external relations of the University, will not 
be improper. 


" The whole history of Massachusetts," as he tells us, " bears wit- 
ness to the instrumentality of the Congregational clergy in founding 
and upholding Harvard College. With them originated the first con- 
ception of the design. By their influence, which was scarcely less 
than conclusive with the first settlers of the Colony, its statesmen were 
induced to extend to it the degree of favor which they did. For one 
hundred and fifty years they were intrusted with its chief care and 
management. When it became necessary, in the Convention of 1780, 
to declare who should be the successors of the Board of Overseers 
established under the ancient charters of the College, the framers of 
the Constitution ordained, in conformity with those charters, that the 
ministers of the Congregational churches therein specified should still 
constitute the clerical part of that Board. Nor did the act of 1810 
make any alteration in this respect, but continued the Congregational 
order in its long-established clerical relations and rights, — enlarging 
rather than restricting them. . . . 

" Thus the right in question is granted to the Congregational order 
by all the charters of the institution. It is a right which the present 
members of that order and their predecessors have attained, not 
through any party spirit or favoritism, but from the fact that they were 
originally the efficient founders of the College, and have, in all times, 
by their zeal, labors, and influence, been greatly instrumental in pro- 
moting its growth and prosperity. Now, where do the Overseers and 
the Corporation obtain the power to deprive the great Congregational 
Order of Massachusetts of this right, so honorably won and main- 
tained? . . . 

" But, it has been said, this change will not materially affect the 
influence of the Congregational clergy ; that it will still depend upon 
the votes of the Board of Overseers, whether any other and what 
denominations shall be admitted, and that they will of course restrict 
the selection to such as will harmonize with them. All this is very 
smooth and lubricating. But powers which are sought are generally 
intended to be used. Accretion and extension are inherent in the very 
nature of power. If ' liberality ' requires that all denominations should 
be made eligible to the Board of Overseers, it also requires, just as 
much, that every denomination should be represented in it. And it 
cannot be doubted, that, on every occurrence of a clerical vacancy in the 
Board, the friends x>f every sect will put in its claim ; and, if denied, 
there will result a great clamor about ' illiberality.' So that they who 
are for accepting this act will find to their cost, that, instead of attain- 


ing their end, they have perpetuated the very evil they would avoid 
upon themselves, and entailed it on their successors." 

Experience did not verify these apprehensions : the Col- 
lege continued to flourish under the new order of things. 
Still, in these days of hankering after change and a more 
sesthetic worship, it is a satisfaction to know that there was 
one man who never forgot that his ancestors were Congrega- 
tionalists, and who had the courage, in the face of all the 
popular tendencies, to stand up for what he believed to be 
the rights of the Congregational clergy, — a body of men, 
to whom, with all their faults, New England is mainly indebted 
for what is most distinctive in its history, institutions, and 

Amidst his many official cares, little and great, President. 
Quincy found time for no inconsiderable amount of literary 
work. In 1830 he delivered an " Address to the Citizens 
of Boston on the Close of the Second Century from the First 
Settlement of the City." It is one of the most carefully pre- 
pared, and most discriminating and valuable, of all his public 
addresses. He was also called, Sept. 8, 1836, at the close 
of the second century after the foundation of the College, to 
deliver a discourse in commemoration of that event. The 
latter, though eloquent and elaborate in itself, was chiefly 
remarkable for having suggested and prepared the way for 
his extended History of the institution. After having glanced 
at the four great periods, under which the events affecting the 
fortunes of the College may be conveniently arranged and 
considered, he thus proceeds: — 

" From this view it is apparent, that the occasion requires, not an 
oration, but a treatise ; not an address, but a History. 

" Like the historian, then, of ancient times, when, on Grecian soil 
and like solemn occasion, were assembled, as now and here, the wise, 
the learned, the pious, and the great, let us also strive to beguile the 
passing hour with an appropriate story of former years ; and like him, 


too, leave it half told, when hearers give signs of weariness, or when 
the herald shall proclaim that the time has come for the feast and the 

His " History of Harvard University " did not appear un- 
til 1840. It was a labor of love. The records and archives 
of the College were all open to him ; and no expense was 
spared in order to make this work the most acceptable and 
enduring monument of his devotion to his Alma Mater. It 
fills two large octavo volumes, and, in point of mechanical 
execution, is still universally regarded as one of the most 
beautiful and perfect productions of the American press. 
The first impression of seven hundred and fifty copies, in- 
cluding the whole charge for the stereotype plates, cost 
above six thousand dollars. Having no view to pecuniary 
emolument, Mr. Quincy, at the outset, made over his prop- 
erty in the work to the College, guaranteeing it in any event 
against loss, and providing that the profits, if any, should 
accrue to the funds for assisting indigent students. After 
the first and principal sales had been effected, the balance 
against the work, from various unforeseen causes, amounted 
to between three and four thousand dollars, which was 
promptly paid by the author, leaving the College in posses- 
sion of the remaining copies and the stereotype plates, free 
of all expense. 

The History was cordially welcomed by the friends of the 
College, and especially by those most conversant with its 
interests and traditions. The Hon. Daniel Appleton White, 
to make room for one among many, writes thus : — 

" By combining with your narrative of University concerns a variety 
of important public topics, and arranging them judiciously, with lively 
and graphic sketches of character, you have made your work exceed- 
ingly attractive to all readers of American history and literature. . . . 
You have presented a striking and most satisfactory view of the 
ecclesiastical history of Massachusetts, — the most so, indeed, that I 
recollect to have met with. Some persons may remain who will be 


at first shocked at the picture drawn of the two Mathers and of Han- 
cock, if not of a few others ; but in this the author of the History 
cannot be blamed, as it must be perceived the portraits are of their 
own drawing. Nothing can be more manifest to the reader of this 
History than the author's determined spirit of candor, justice, and fidel- 
ity, as well as of independence." # 

Now that first impressions have given place to calm and 
mature judgment, we are in a condition to speak with more 
confidence and discrimination of the merits of this work. In 
the first place, every student of history will know how to 
appreciate the Appendixes to the two volumes, embracing, as 
they do, a large collection of interesting and important docu- 
ments, which are thus saved, and in some cases, it might 
almost be said, redeemed from destruction. Turning, next, 
to the History itself, all again must agree in according to it 
the qualities of a permanent and standard work. The author, 
it is true, wrote too eagerly and too rapidly for one who 
would become a model of exactness and finish : his mind was 
taken up by other things ; nevertheless, his diction is always 
clear, strong, and idiomatic, rising at times into a genuine, 
because spontaneous, eloquence ; and distinguished through- 
out by a certain air of independence and nobility, which 

* We cannot refrain from subjoining the testimony of a foreigner, Mr. James 
Grahame, the author of" The History of the United States." In a letter to Mr. Quincy, 
from Nantes, July, 1841, he says: "As you advance, you wound some of my preju- 
dices. The Mathers are very dear to me; and you attack them with a severity the 
more painful to me that I am unable to demur to its justice. I would fain think that 
you do not make sufficient allowance for the spirit of the times. My heart and judg- 
ment are with them in point of doctrine. From their view of discipline my judgment 
utterly revolts." Again, writing to Mr. Quincy's daughter in the following October, 
he observes: "Since my return from my late travels, I have thoroughly read your 
father's ' History of Harvard University,' often with pleasure, sometimes with pain, — 
always with final, deep, austere satisfaction and approbation. ... No other country 
than your own ever produced a seat of learning so honorable to its founders and early 
supporters as Harvard University; and never did a noble institution obtain a worthier 
historian. . . . His account of the transition of the social system of Massachusetts from 
an entire and punctilious intertexture of Church and State to the restriction of mu- 
nicipal government to civil offices and occupations, is very curious and interesting, and 
admirably well fills up an important void in New-England history." 


marked his style as well as his thoughts, and indeed his 
whole character. Then, too, it is quite plain that the records 
and archives of the University have been thoroughly ex- 
plored for information respecting its internal history ; by 
which is meant the changes in its internal constitution, its 
methods of instruction and discipline, and its standard of 
scholarship at different periods. It is doubtless to be re- 
gretted that the result is often so meagre and unsatisfactory ; 
still we have all, or nearly all, the light on these subjects to 
be gathered from the books and papers of the College. More 
might perhaps have been done to fill out the picture from 
other sources ; and there are those, probably, who would 
have liked the history better if it had been written on this 
principle, and in the spirit of an academic and literary anti- 
quary. But such a work was not, of course, to be expected 
from Mr. Quincy. All his tastes and habits of thought, as a 
public man, had led him to be chiefly interested in the exter- 
nal history of the College ; that is to say, in the history of 
its governors rather than of its teachers and teaching, and in 
its relations to public affairs, and to the rivalships and strug- 
gles of the leading men in Church and State. 

By thus following his natural bent, he has doubtless given 
to the work a peculiar interest and importance ; but with 
the inconvenience, that he often found himself on debatable 
ground, where, take whatever position he might, he was sure 
to be met by the stock objections on the other side.* Some- 
thing must also be pardoned to an ardent mind, which is apt 

* Two articles containing strictures on the work appeared in the sixth and seventh 
volumes of the "American Biblical Repository," —namely, a " Review of Quincy's His- 
tory of Harvard University. By One of the Professors of Yale College " (Professor 
Kingsley); and an "Examination of Certain Points in Xew-England History, as ex- 
hibited by President Quincy in his History of Harvard University, and by other Uni- 
tarian Writers. By Enoch Pond. D.D." It was favorably noticed by the Rev. Dr. 
Parkman, in the " Christian Examiner" for March, 1841, and also, though with some 
discriminations, by Dr. Palfrey, in the " Xorth American Review " for April in the same 



to see things through an intensifying medium. Not that he 
confounded white with black, or black with white ; but his 
white was sometimes a little whiter, and his black a little 
blacker, than the reality. Add to this, that, misled by ap- 
proved authorities, he has fallen into some errors of fact; for 
instance, as to the influence of Sewell and Addington in fram- 
ing the Charter of Yale College, and perhaps in some of his 
statements respecting the Mathers. But none of these things 
.affect, in any manner or degree, his great argument ; which 
shows, that, for the last century and a half, Harvard College 
has been under the constant patronage and control of what 
may be called the liberal party of Massachusetts, using the 
term " liberal " to denote, not the opinions held, but the 
spirit in which they were held. Down to a comparatively 
recent date, the governors and teachers of the College were 
Orthodox Congregationalists. If it has since passed, to a cer- 
tain extent, under other influences, we have no right to say 
that it has passed into other hands. The change in the Col- 
lege was preceded or attended by a like change in the 
surrounding community. The very same class of men who 
have had ascendency in the College for many generations, 
and who have made it what it is, have ascendency still ; the 
only difference being, that the minds of this class have gradu- 
ally become more and more liberal in spirit, and many of 
them also in doctrine. 

At one time Mr. Quincy had it in view to reply to the 
exceptions taken to his History. But he soon perceived that 
these exceptions related, for the most part, to inferences re- 
specting character and motives, the justice or injustice of 
which his readers were already in a condition to determine 
for themselves. Or if, in a few cases, they extended to facts, 
it was, as a general rule, simply because these facts were re- 
garded from a different point of view and with different pre- 
possessions. Under these circumstances, the continuance of 
the discussion was not likely to be of any avail; and, besides, 



it would require that almost every question involved in the 
study of the early history of New England should be re- 
opened, — a useless and thankless task, to which he did not 
feel himself to be called. He begins a manuscript containing 
some brief and unfinished notices of his reviewers with these 
solemn asseverations: — 

" If ever a work was written with an entire independence of any 
design to shape the course of the narrative to favor or disparage 
any religious sect or opinion, it was that work. For, so far as any 
human being is conscious, or has a right to speak, concerning his 
own state of mind or motive, I was utterly indifferent to the whole 
controversy. ... I have no intention to enter into a controversy, in 
the results of which I have no interest, and concerning which, owing 
to the length and number of the discussions on the subject, almost 
any thing may be asserted, and almost any thing denied. All differ- 
ences about the character and conduct of individuals are fair subjects 
of criticism and contradiction. On re-examining them, so far as my 
History is concerned, I see nothing to retract." 

Again, in answering a letter from a friend some years after- 
wards, he writes as follows : — 

" You have several times intimated to me a wish, that, previously 
to publishing a second edition of my ' History of Harvard College,' I 
would review and consider the objections which have been made to 
some of my conclusions and inferences concerning the history of the 
period to which it relates, affecting sometimes the character of men 
and sometimes of parties, varying from, if not offending, the preju- 
dices or the sentiments of one or both the sectarian divisions which 
exist in our Commonwealth. Almost all these objections, as far as 
in the course of their publication they have come to my knowledge, I 
have already considered, and they are generally of a nature which 
I cannot hope to overcome ; being, for the most part, the result of 
theological opinions, or connected with sectarian interests, which 
nothing can satisfy but victory." 

Mr. Quincy resigned the presidency of the College, Aug. 
27, 1845, at the age of seventy-three, — his bodily faculties 
but little affected by his years, and his mind not at all. He 


now returned to his former mode of life, passing his winters 
in Boston, and his summers on his estate in Quincy; but with 
this difference, that, being relieved from all public cares, he 
could bestow his time as he pleased. Not a day, however, 
was lost. As soon as he found himself on his farm again, his 
old fondness for agricultural pursuits came back in all its 
freshness ; and the more so, as he believed these pursuits to 
afford the fittest occupation for an old man, — interesting 
without being exciting, and deriving their interest from 
causes which have nothing to do with the strifes and ambi- 
tions of the world. What makes it more remarkable is, that 
he was able, at his advanced age, not only to take the entire 
management of the farm into his own hands, but to retain it 
for more than ten years ; during which he was as intent as 
ever on new improvements, and as eager as ever to recom- 
mend them in conversation and by his pen. Nor was this all. 
It was at this period, and under these circumstances, that he 
added largely to his fortune by a bold and successful specu- 
lation, from which younger men shrunk, and the details of 
which are equally creditable to his foresight and to his public 
spirit. In the words of his son, — 

" "When Mayor, he had built a wharf, called the City Wharf, which 
belonged to the City, and which from its position he thought should 
always be held by it ; and this opinion he had left on record at the 
time. When he was more than eighty, the City Government proposed 
selling this property. Mr. Quincy remonstrated against it in the 
papers and by memorial, setting forth the reasons why it was impor- 
tant that the control of that particular piece of property should be 
retained by the City. The authorities, however, proceeded with their 
scheme ; and at the sale he appeared, and bid it off. Having thus the 
control of it, he wrote to the Mayor, offering to re-convey it to the City 
if it would bind itself not to sell it again for twenty years. The 
City refused, and he retained the property." 

Still, it was among his books, pen in hand, that most of his 
hours were passed. Long after he had attained to an age in 


which most persons find a reason or an excuse for leaving off 
work altogether, he was wont to regard it as a broken day if 
he were not busily engaged in his library from nine o'clock 
in the morning to nine in the evening. Nor were his studies 
without object, or without fruit. In 1847, when he was 
seventy-five, appeared his " Life and Journals of Major 
Samuel Shaw." This was followed, four years afterwards, 
by his " History of the Boston Athenaeum, with Biographical 
Notices of its Deceased Founders." In 1852, at the close 
of his eightieth year, he published his " Municipal History 
of the Town and City of Boston." Finally, in 1858, in his 
eighty-seventh year, appeared his " Memoir of the Life of 
John Quincy Adams." Each of these works fills an octavo 
volume, and must have required a large amount of literary 
labor ; yet they betray, to the last, but little if any decay of 
intellectual vigor. The last work especially, if we consider 
the difficulty and delicacy of the task, and the success with 
which it is executed, in connection with the extreme age of 
the author, is almost without a parallel. To these must also 
be added a "Memoir of James Grahame," the historian, and a 
" Memoir of John Bromfield," published during the same 
period ; together with several political and controversial 
pamphlets, called forth by the exigency of the times, — all 
of which are full of life, and often as effective and trenchant 
as the productions of his best days.* 

There was a time, as before intimated, when Mr. Quincy 

* Among these are found the following : " Considerations submitted to the Citizens 
of Boston and Charlestown on the proposed Annexation of these two Cities," 1854; 
"Speech delivered before the Whig State Convention, Boston, August 16, 1854;" "Ad- 
dress illustrative of the Nature and Power of the Slave States, and the Duties of the 
Free States; delivered at the request of the Inhabitants of the Town of Quincy, Mass., 
on Thursday, June 5, 1856, — Altered and Enlarged since Delivery; " "Remarks on the 
Letter of the Hon. Rufus Choate to the Whig State Committee of Maine, written in 
answer to a Letter of the Hon. John Z. Goodrich," 1856; " Whig Policy Analyzed and 
Illustrated," 1856. The Memoir of Grahame was prepared at the request of the Massa- 
chusetts Historical Society, and published in their Collections, Third Series, vol. ix. 
His " Memoir of John Quincy Adams " was also written at the instance of this Society. 


did not hesitate to express his want of confidence in the sta- 
bility of our government ; but he would say, on turning the 
conversation to other topics, "It. will probably stand as long 
as I do." As, however, the political prospects of the coun- 
try continued to grow darker and darker, even this hope, if 
hope it might be called, began to fade away : he became 
convinced that the catastrophe might come at any moment. 
Amidst these gloomy forebodings, the first glimmer of light 
which he saw, or thought he saw, was in the Presidential 
canvass for Fremont in 1856; for, though unsuccessful, it 
showed that both the East and the West were beginning to 
awake to the Great Issue.* Accordingly, he threw himself 
into the contest with all the unabated ardor of his soul, as 
he afterwards did into that for Lincoln in 1860. When at 
length the Rebellion broke out, it gave a new life to all his 
old antipathies to the slave-power, heightened by a keener 
sense of the social and moral evil of slavery itself. But what 
most impressed him, and this too with a kind of religious 
awe, was the madness of the South, forcing upon the country 
that very state of things which alone would make the final 
and utter extinction of slavery both possible and necessary. 

For this reason, even in the darkest hour of the struggle, 
neither his faith nor his courage ever faltered, as did that of 
many. This abundantly appears in his " Address to the 
Members of the Union Club," February 27, 1863, and in his 
" Letter to President Lincoln," on the 7th of the following 
September, — remarkable in themselves, and still more so 

* The following extract from his Diary shows that he was not among those who 
counselled or favored extreme measures at this time: "January 23, 1857. — Received 
a letter inviting me to attend an Antislavery meeting, the avowed object of which is 
the dissolution of the National Union, — an object which I consider neither wise nor 
at present practicable. To all human appearance, the event is not far distant; but I 
have no sense of duty calling upon me to expedite it. I am not among those who 
believe that the separation of the Free from the Slave States would inevitably lead to 
the emancipation of the negroes, were it possible to unite all the Free States in such 
a separation. On the contrary, I believe the only hope, and that very shadowy, of 
emancipation, is from a continuance of the Union." 


when considered as the last solemn and public utterances 
of their author in his ninety-second year. He writes to the 
President : — 

" Negro slavery and the possibility of emancipation have been sub- 
jects of my thoughts for more than seventy years, being first intro- 
duced to it by the debates in the Convention of Massachusetts for 
adopting the Constitution, in 1788, which I attended. I had subse- 
quently opportunities of knowing the views on that subject, not only of 
such men as Hamilton, King, Jay, and Pickering, but also of distin- 
guished slaveholders, — of both the Pinckneys, of William Smith of 
South Carolina, and of many others. With the first of these I had per- 
sonal intercourse and acquaintance. I can truly say that I never knew 
the individual, slaveholder or* non-slaveholder, who did not express 
a detestation of it, and the desire and disposition to get rid of it. The 
only difficulty in case of emancipation was, What shall we do for 
the master, and what shall we do with the slave? A satisfactory 
answer to both these questions has been, until now, beyond the reach 
and the grasp of human wisdom and power. 

" Through the direct influence of a good and gracious God, the 
people of the United States have been invested with the power of 
answering satisfactorily both these questions, and also of providing 
for the difficulties incident to both. . . . The madness of secession, 
and its inevitable consequence, civil war, will in their result give the 
right and the power of universal emancipation sooner or later. If 
the United States do not understand and fully appreciate the boon 
thus bestowed upon them, and fail to improve it to the extent of the 
power granted, they will prove recreant to themselves and posterity. 
I write under the impression that the victory of the United States in 
this war is inevitable." 

He did not live to see the Union restored ; but his assur- 
ance of the event was entire. He even found in the delay 
itself a new reason for gratitude, as it could hardly fail to 
save the country from half-way measures, from a conclusion 
in which nothing was concluded, — the only thing he really 

Old age, as we generally find it, is a dubious blessing; 
in Mr. Quincy it was singularly honored and happy. A 


fall, when lie was on the verge of ninety, injured his hip, so 
that afterwards he could not walk without assistance. Except- 
ing this, he seems hardly to have known, from early child- 
hood, what is meant by sickness or physical disability. To 
the very last, his bodily and mental faculties, his sight and 
hearing, his animal spirits, his interest in public affairs, in 
his family and friends, and even in the courtesies and ameni- 
ties of social life, were wonderfully preserved. His heart 
was as young and as brave at ninety as at thirty. And 
these facts are the more worthy of record, as they were 
manifestly the result of a strict observance of the laws of 
health. They show, moreover, that where these laws are 
properly attended to in other respects, nothing needs be ap- 
prehended from intense and long-continued activity of body 
and of mind. 

The respect felt and manifested for Mr. Quincy in his last 
years by the whole community was alike honorable to both. 
Party triumphs and party defeats, with the passions awak- 
ened thereby, were forgotten : all that the people knew, or 
cared to know, was, that they had among them a venerable 
man, who had passed through a long public life without hav- 
ing the uprightness of his intentions questioned in a single 
instance, and without a stain on his private character. Who 
that was present will ever forget the spontaneous enthusiasm 
with which the whole audience arose to welcome him on 
occasion of his last two public appearances at Cambridge ? 
But the evening, however tranquil and beautiful, must have 
its lengthening shadows, its setting sun, its gathering gloom. 
During the summer the ancestral home in Quincy, and during 
the winter his house in Boston (first in Bowdoin Place, and 
afterwards in Park Street), continued to be resorted to by 
distinguished strangers and devoted friends, more and more 
eager to testify their regard ; but the companions of his 
youth and of his early manhood were not there. 

From the time of his leaving Cambridge until he was 


ninety, lie amused himself by keeping a full journal of 
events, and of his own reading, both of which led to abun- 
dant and characteristic reflections on the present and the 
past.* As might be expected, the entries are often like 
the following : — 

"January 18, 1847. — Attended the funeral of the Hon. John Davis, 
aged eighty-six years. Mild, amiable, affectionate, possessed of every 
virtue. His life useful; his death easy and timely. Farewell, my 
friend of many years : our separation will be short. I shall soon be 
with you, and I doubt not we shall meet amidst locos Icetos sedesque 

" February 25, 1848. — I have to record the loss of the friend of my 
youth, of my manhood, and of my old age, John Quincy Adams, who 
died at the Capitol, in Washington, on the 23d instant, — on the spot 
where his eloquence had often triumphed, and where his worth and 
powers were known, and are now acknowledged. Death, which shuts 
the gate of envy and opens that of fame, has at length introduced him 
to the rewards of a life of purity, labor, and usefulness, spent in the 
service of his country. The language of sorrow and lamentation 

J Co 

is universal. No tongue but speaks his praise, — well deserved, but 
hardly earned by a life of unceasing labor and untiring industry. 
Friend of my life, farewell. I owe you for many marks of favor and 
kindness ; many instances of your affection and interest for me are 
recorded in my memory, which death alone can obliterate. 

' Multis ille bonis flebilis occidit, 
2sulli flebilior quam miki.' " 

This death was soon followed by another which touched^ 
him more nearly. His wife, who for more than half a cen- 
tury had shared all his thoughts and cares, and from whom, 
since his constrained absence in Washington, be had scarcely 
been separated a single day, closed on the 1st of September, 
1850, a long, useful, and happy life of seventy-seyen years. 

* Almost every page bears witness to the pleasure Mr. Quincy continued to take 
in his classical studies. The Diary begins, indeed, with a free translation of " Cicero de 
Senectute;" and Cicero, Horace, and Tacitus appear to have been his constant co 
panions to the end. His mind was evidently of the Roman tast. 



All his children, two sons and five daughters, survived, — 
three continuing to live with him, and relieving him from all 
domestic cares ; the others being settled in the neighborhood, 
and in a condition to render him the most delicate and grate- 
ful attentions. But he could not forget those who had gone 
before, and often spoke of the long-expected, long-deferred 
summons to join them, with a cheerfulness and naturalness 
which showed that his thoughts were equally at home in both 
worlds. At length the summons came. He died, peacefully 
and without suffering, at his house in Quincy, on Friday after- 
noon, July 1, 1864, aged ninety-two years and five months. 
The funeral took place on the following Wednesday, at Ar- 
lington-street Church in Boston, his place of worship in the 

In looking back on this brief and imperfect memoir, what 
strikes us most of all is the degree of efficiency and success 
attained by the subject of it in the widely different and ap- 
parently incongruous spheres of activity to which his life was 
devoted at successive periods, — first as a statesman and par- 
liamentary orator, then as a civil magistrate, and finally as 
the head of a college. The elder President Adams, who was 
his neighbor and kinsman, and had known him intimately from 
childhood, used to say, that he " was the most fortunate man 
he had ever known in his long life, — fortunate in his ances- 
tors, in his position in society, in his wife and children, in 
every thing ; indeed, the most remarkable instance of good 
fortune he had ever met with in his wide experience. " 
These words, uttered nearly fifty years ago, continued equally 
true of him to the last, — most fortunate of all in a cheerful 
and active old age, in a peaceful death, and an unspotted 

After what has been said, a formal analysis of Mr. Quincy's 
character is unnecessary. He threw a vast amount of per- 
sonality into his outward life : so that to know his history is 
.to know the man, — his excellences and his defects. To this 


statement there is, however, one exception, on which it will 
be proper to say a word. 

His religious character was entirely misconceived by those 
who were willing to regard him as a partisan for a particular 
creed or sect. In the division which took place among the 
Congregationalists of Massachusetts, in the early part of the 
present century, he sided with the Unitarians ; but he was 
not a man to lay much stress on theological speculations, or 
on ecclesiastical differences of any kind, or even on religious 
emotions or sympathy. With him religion consisted in bring- 
ing the desires, intentions, and thoughts into harmony with 
the Divine will. A man was a Christian, no matter what 
might be his denomination, just so far as, at home and abroad, 
in public and private life, he acted out Christian principles ; 
and no farther. 

" Religion," so he writes in his Diary, " is an act of the mind, and 
has no reference to place. It consists in studying our daily relations 
to God, and in endeavoring to discern and be obedient to his will ; 
and in cultivating in our minds a constant sense of his goodness and 
protection, and of the gratitude due to him for the infinite mercies of 
which he is the source." ... 

" No years of my life have been more unqualifiedly joyful, than 
those since my seventieth year. I have lost many friends and com- 
rades, They have indeed gone a little before me ; but what of that ? 
I shall soon be up with them. And I doubt not I shall join them, 
and that we shall travel on together in a future life ; and this tempo- 
rary separation will be but an incident, and not a cause of serious 
regret. This assured expectation is a never-failing source of comfort 
and happiness to the well-balanced mind of an old man." . . . 

" Whatever is conformable to nature ought to be regarded as 
good ; and what is more conformable than that old men should die ? 
When death happens to the young, they seem to yield to an external 
force ; but the old pass voluntarily away, as if by their own will. 
To me the approach of death is rather pleasant than otherwise. I 
seem to see land after a long navigation." 

Who would not have the evening of his days made tranquil 


and bright by like memories and prospects, by a like calm, 
natural, and sincere trust? The wonder is, that, while his 
faith had almost become vision, he continued as indifferent as 
ever to the doctrinal and ritualistic controversies which have 
done so much to vex and divide the Church, and indeed to all 
outward tests of piety except obedience and character. One 
who knew him well has said, lt While his moral constitution 
kept him from all false display, the structure of his mind, as 
•it seems to me, compelled him to bestow his attention on the 
logical and practical, rather than on the sentimental, aspects 
of religion. He went as far as he saw reason to go, and there 
paused, in submission to an ignorance inseparable from the 
present conditions of our being."* What he thought of 
the use and necessity of the Christian revelation, to society 
and government, is best expressed in his own memorable 
words : " Human happiness has no perfect security but free- 
dom ; freedom, none but virtue; virtue, none but knowledge; 
and neither freedom nor virtue nor knowledge has any vigor 
or immortal hope, except in the principles of the Christian 
faith, and in the sanctions of the Christian religion." 

Mr. Parkman exhibited a number of photographic 
views of the antiquities of Peru, brought from that 
country by Mr. E. G. Squier, which attracted consider- 
able notice. 

The President at this moment being obliged to leave 
the meeting, Colonel Aspinwall, one of the Vice-Presi- 
dents, was called to the chair. 

After a further examination of the photographs upon 
the table, the meeting was dissolved. 

* Dr. Gannett's "Discourse, occasioned by the Death of the Hon. Josiah Quincy," 
p. 15. 





A special meeting of the Society was held in the 
Dowse Library, on Tuesday evening, April 3, at 7 J 
o'clock, in commemoration of their late associate and 
Vice-President, Jared Sparks. 

The President, the Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, called 
the meeting to order, and spoke as follows : — 

I cannot but remember to-night, gentlemen, that as I was 
leaving this room a few moments before the adjournment 
of our last monthly meeting, on the 8th of March, in order 
to accompany a part of my family on a journey from which 
I came home but a day or two since, I turned back to the 
accustomed seat of our eminent and excellent first Vice-Presi- 
dent, to ask him once more to take the chair which he had so 
often and so worthily occupied before. He had always been 
so punctual in his attendance here, that I took it for granted, 
without inquiry, that he would be forthcoming at my call. It 
proved that he was not present on that occasion. But little 
did any of us dream then, that the place which had known 
him so long was to know him no more for ever, and that we 




were so soon to lose, from our cherished companionship, here 
and elsewhere, one to whose life and labors we we're so deeply- 
indebted, and in whose well-earned renown we all felt so 
much interest and so much pride. Hardly a week, however, 
had elapsed from that day, before a telegraphic announcement 
reached me in a distant part of the country, that our accom- 
plished and distinguished friend had passed away; and that, 
before I could be here to unite with you in paying the last 
tribute to his remains, they would have been consigned to the 
grave. I need not assure you how proudly I should have 
availed myself of the privilege of bearing a portion of his 
pall, as the representative of this Society, had that honorable 
assignment found me at home, or how glad I am now to have 
returned in season to take part with you in these ceremonies 
of commemoration. 

Let me not call them ceremonies ; for there will be nothing 
ceremonious, nothing merely formal, I am sure, in what may 
be said or done here this evening in memory of our lamented 
associate. He was the last man to desire ceremonies in his 
own honor, or to inspire others with a disposition to deal 
coldly and formally with his name and fame. Indeed, there 
were few things, as you all know, more characteristic of 
Jared Sparks than the manner in which he uniformly shrunk 
from any assertion or any recognition of his own unques- 
tioned title to celebrity. He was never tired of recogniz- 
ing the claims of others to distinction, or of paying tribute 
to whomsoever tribute was due, whether among the dead or 
among the living. His whole life, I had almost said, was 
spent in doing honor to others. But for himself he seemed 
content with the quiet consciousness of having labored dili- 
gently, faithfully, devotedly, successfully, through a career of 
varied fortunes and many early discouragements, in the cause 
of education and letters, and of having contributed what he 
could to the illustration of the great names and great deeds 
of his country's history. 


And who, we may well ask to-night, — who has contributed 
more than he, who has contributed so much as he, to that 
illustration? Not a few of his contemporaries in the field 
of American authorship have prosecuted their historical re- 
searches and found the heroes of their story in distant realms 
and in a remote past. But it has been one of the peculiari- 
ties of his career, that it has been occupied exclusively with 
topics connected with his native land. In the crowded gal- 
lery of portraits which have owed their execution, directly 
or indirectly, to the untiring industry of Jared Sparks, and 
which include so great a variety of character and so wide a 
range of service, there is not one, I believe, which is not 
associated, prominently, if not exclusively, with the colonial 
or the national history of our own country. Nor can any one 
write that history, now or hereafter, without acknowledging 
a deep indebtedness, at every step, to his unwearied re- 
searches. Abandoning, as he did, only within a few years 
past, as the infirmities of age began to steal upon him, his 
long-cherished purpose of preparing a formal narrative of 
our great Revolutionary period, he might yet well have 
congratulated himself, if his modesty had suffered him to do 
so, that he had quarried the materials with which others are 
building, and with which others must always continue to build. 
Certainly, no more thorough or more valuable investigation 
of all that pertains to that transcendent period of American 
history has ever been made, or is likely to be made, than that 
of which the abounding fruits were given to the world in his 
" Life and Writings of Washington," in his " Life and Writ- 
ings of Franklin," and in the numerous lesser biographies 
with which he has enriched our historic literature. Bring- 
ing to whatever he undertook a sturdy strength of mind and 
body, a full measure of practical common sense, faculties of 
perception and comprehension which more than made up in 
precision and grasp for any thing which may have been want- 
ing in quickness or keenness, a marvellous love of work, a 


patience and perseverance of research which nothing could 
fatigue or elude, he pursued his inquiries with all the zeal 
of an advocate, but weighed the results and pronounced the 
decision with the calm discrimination of a judge. The sim- 
plicity of his style was a faithful index of the simplicity 
of his whole character. There was nothing in his nature 
which tempted him to seek brilliancy at the expense of truth. 
He had as little capacity as taste for indulging in rhetorical 
exaggerations or embellishments. No man was ever freer 
from unjust prejudices or unjust partialities. No man ever 
sought more earnestly to do justice to his subject, without 
displaying himself or espousing a side. And thus his his- 
torical writings will be respected and consulted, in all time 
to come, as the highest and best authority in regard to the 
men, the facts, and the events to which they relate. 

Let me recall, in this connection, the language of Wash- 
ington Irving, in a letter to myself, written while he was still 
engaged in composing that brilliant biography of the Father 
of his Country, which was the crowning glory of his own 
literary life. " I doubt," said he, " whether the world will 
ever get a more full and correct idea of Washington than 
is furnished by Sparks's collection of his letters, with the 
accompanying notes and illustrations, and the preliminary 
biography." — " From the examination I have given to the 
correspondence of Washington," he continued, " in the ar- 
chives of the State Department, it appears to me that Sparks 
has executed his task of selection, arrangement, and copious 
illustration, with great judgment and discrimination, and with 
consummate fidelity to the essential purposes of history. His 
intelligent and indefatigable labors in this and other fields 
of American history are of national and incalculable import- 
ance. Posterity will do justice to them and him." 

But Mr. Irving did not confine his testimony in regard to 
the labors and achievements of our lamented associate to pri- 
vate correspondence. He concludes the Preface to his own 


admirable work with the following noble acknowledgment : 
" I have also made frequent use of ' Washington's Writings/ 
as published by Mr. Sparks ; a careful collation of many of 
them with the originals having convinced me of the general 
correctness of the collection, and of the safety with which it 
may be relied upon for historical purposes : and I am happy 
to bear this testimony to the essential accuracy of one whom 
I consider among the greatest benefactors to our national 
literature, and to whose writings and researches I acknowl- 
edge myself largely indebted throughout my work." 

Nor can I forget how emphatically this testimony was 
echoed by our illustrious associate, Edward Everett, whose 
eloquent voice we have not yet learned to do without on 
such an occasion as this. In acknowledging an especial obli- 
gation to Mr. Sparks, in the introduction to the " Memoir of 
Washington," which, at the request of Lord Macaulay, he 
contributed to the " Encyclopgedia Britannica," he says as 
follows : " No one can have occasion to write or speak on the 
life of Washington, however compendiously, without finding 
constant occasion to repeat the acknowledgment of Mr. Irving, 
who justly places him l among the greatest benefactors to our 
national literature.' " 

But I need not have appealed to the testimony of the 

dead. There are those among the living, whom I see around 

me at this moment, who can do ample justice to our departed 

friend in all the various stages of his long and valuable life ; 

who can bear witness to the courage and constancy with 

which he encountered and overcame the disadvantages of his 

early years ; to his diligence and fidelity as a student, to his 

ability and devotion as a professor, and as President, of the 

University which he loved so well ; to his generous readiness 

to assist others who were engaged in historical pursuits, and 

to his gratitude to all who assisted him; to his moral and 

religious character, and to those sterling qualities of head 

and heart which so endeared him to his associates and friends. 



And here before me, too, are witnesses more impressive 
and emphatic than any voices either of the dead or of the 
living. This multitudinous accumulation of volumes on our 
table, hardly less than a hundred in number, — nearly all of 
them his own gift to our Library, all of them his own gift 
to American literature, — what a life of labor do they not 
bespeak ! To what rich resources and earnest researches, 
to what varied accomplishments and noble achievements, do 
they not bear testimony ! Of what an enviable and enduring 
association of his own name with the names of the heroes of 
our history, and more especially with that pre-eminent and 
peerless name which is to live longest in the memory of man- 
kind, are they not at once the ample price and the assured 
pledge ! 

Without another word, Gentlemen, I submit to your con- 
sideration, by authority of the Standing Committee, the fol- 
lowing resolutions: — 

Resolved, That in the death of Jared Sparks this Society has lost 
one of its most valued and distinguished members, whose private vir- 
tues and whose literary achievements have alike entitled him to our 
respect and admiration. 

Resolved, That the contributions of our lamented associate to the 
history of our country have been exceeded in amount and value by 
those of no other man among the living or the dead ; and that we can- 
not doubt that posterity will confirm the judgment of Irving and Everett 
in pronouncing him " one of the greatest benefactors to American lit- 

Resolved, That the President be requested to nominate one of our 
number to prepare a Memoir of Dr. Sparks for our next volume of 

Mr. John C. Gray spoke as follows : — 

Mr. President, — I have only a few words to say on the 
occasion which has called us together, and shall not attempt 
to describe with any fulness the character of our departed 


associate. It is a character most interesting as a subject of 

Its leading features were its transparent integrity and 
simplicity. Our friend's great object seems to have been to 
exert his talents, which were eminent, in behalf of those 
interests which should be to all of us the most cherished ; to 
inculcate, according to the best light of his own conscience, 
the great truths of the Christian religion ; to labor in more 
than one high and responsible office in the cause of educa- 
tion : to place in a clear and striking light the characters of 
those to whom we have been most indebted for our national 
existence, and thus awaken an ardent and enlarged patriot- 
ism ; — these were the great pursuits to which his life was 
devoted without intermission. 

When we have said that in all these he was eminently suc- 
cessful, it is manifest that little more could be said of any 

It is gratifying to reflect, that his merits have been duly 
appreciated at home and abroad. No man ever earned his 
honors more fairly ; and we may add, that no one ever sought 
them with less solicitude, or wore them more modestly. No 
one ever pursued truth with more earnestness, or set it forth 
with more clearness and impartiality. His writings, like his 
life, were marked by dignified and unassuming simplicity. 
Other historians may challenge our admiration as more bril- 
liant or fascinating ; but none, I apprehend, could more com- 
mand our confidence. His life, I repeat, was one of entire 
devotion to his country's best interests ; and it would be doing 
great injustice to our community, to doubt that his worth will 
long be held in grateful remembrance. I concur fully in the 
resolutions which have been offered, and move their adoption. 

Professor Parsons then addressed the meeting : — 

Mr. President, — In the year 1811,1 entered Cambridge 
College on the same day with Mr. Sparks. Some similarity 


of tastes and pursuits soon led us into more intimacy than is 
always common even among classmates. From that time that 
intimacy has never been broken. Through all these years he 
has been one of my nearest, one of my dearest, friends. You 
have asked me to offer a tribute to his memory. None more 
appropriate could be offered than a just presentment of his 
character ; and that I ought to be able to give you. But far 
more time than I must allow myself to-night would be re- 
quired for a full portraiture of such a man. I shall only 
attempt to notice briefly some of his more prominent qualities. 
Let me add, that I have prepared with much care what I 
have to say of my friend. I could not speak of such a man, 
on such an occasion, without feeling it to be my duty to deal 
with him as he dealt with all persons and all topics, — with 
entire truthfulness. 

And this suggests to me to speak first of his own simplicity 
and truthfulness. I have not known, and I can scarcely 
imagine, a man more absolutely devoid of vanity or affecta- 
tion. He valued the good opinion of good men as evidence 
that he had succeeded in his efforts to be and to do what 
such men approve, and that what he had done for others 
would be acceptable and useful. But, in the half century of 
our acquaintance, I have never witnessed an act, a look, a 
word, which indicated even the thought of seeming other 
than he was ; of winning even momentary approbation by a 
mere seeming. 

Then let me speak of his kindness. This was spontaneous, 
constant, universal. How many I have heard speak of his 
beautiful smile ! It was only the transparent covering of the 
feeling it expressed. In his early life he needed and he re- 
ceived much kindness. So far as this was pecuniary and 
could be repaid in that way, he did repay all these kindnesses, 
at the earliest moment of his power to do so, to the last dollar, 
as fully, as carefully, as if he had felt them to be burthensome 
obligations. And yet he never had any feeling of that kind ; 


for he often spoke of them, and always with pleasure. In- 
deed, he knew how pleasant it was to him to be kind, and he 
was willing to believe that he had given pleasure in permit- 
ting others to be kind to him. I must not trespass upon the 
confidence of intimate friendship, or I might recount to you 
touching instances in which, while assisting young men who 
needed counsel, sympathy, or money, he remembered his own 
early wants and the way they were supplied, and felt gladness 
and gratitude that he was able to do to others what had been 
done to him. Freely he received, freely he gave. 

Nor was it only so that he manifested the kindness of his 
disposition. I would not rely only on my own testimony, 
affected as that may be by my regard for him ; but I call on 
all who knew him, to say if they ever knew from him an un- 
kind act towards any one, or an unkind word concerning any 
one. I never did. 

Then let me speak of his justice. Let me only say that I 
think I have never known any one who saw more clearly, who 
felt more profoundly, or who practised more perfectly, the 
duty of justice, the duty of thinking of every one aright, 
of feeling towards every one aright, of dealing with every 
one aright. 

Mr. President, I have not mentioned these three character- 
istics only from the value I attach to them ; nor only because 
it is not common to see any one of them carried so far as were 
all of them in him ; nor only because it is most unusual to 
find them all co-existing and co-operative in one character. I 
have myself never known another instance. Nor have 
I spoken of them only because the character of an eminent 
and widely known man, when composed of such elements as 
these, forms a most valuable portion of the character of our 
Commonwealth and of our country. But I mention them also 
because they entered into and exercised a most important 
influence upon his success, his usefulness, his fame, as an his- 
torian and a biographer. 


The same simplicity and truthfulness which he displayed 
in all the relations of life, governed him here. It would be 
almost as difficult for me to believe, that he could design or 
desire, from mere personal feeling, to present any fact or per- 
son in brighter or darker colors than those which he believed 
a faithful portraiture required, as it would be to suspect the 
sunshine of a desire to adorn or distort the figure it was 
drawing upon the prepared plate. 

And then his kindness, while it never overcame his truth- 
fulness, was never extinguished by it. He desired to speak, 
as an author, of every one as he thought and spoke of all 
whom he approached in life, aud that was, as favorably as he 
could ; as well as the truth permitted ; not better ; not to 
the sacrifice of truth. But, when all facts and circumstances 
were fairly and honestly considered, there was then oppor- 
tunity for a kind and merciful judgment upon all questions 
which were left open ; and this opportunity was never lost 
upon him. 

And then his justice. I do not mean by this a mere nega- 
tive justice ; a mere forbearance from injustice. It was much 
more. His sense of the duty of justice led him to spare no 
time, no efforts, no industry, to acquaint himself with all the 
facts, and possess and use all the accessible information, which 
were needed to enable him to do towards all of whom he 
wrote, full, entire, and complete justice. 

I consider it a most happy thing for our country, a>nd for 
all the generations that are to succeed us, that, when they 
look back upon that most interesting period of our history 
which his principal writings cover, — the period of the birth 
of our country,' — they may find such works as he has left 
ready to instruct them. 

At a time not so near the acting of those great events as 
to cause much danger from the influence of still existing per- 
sonal prejudice or predilection, and yet so near that many 
sources of valuable information were still open which time 


would soon have closed, this work fell into the hands of one 
peculiarly adapted to it, and peculiarly qualified to do it well. 
Through the long future which we trust awaits our country, 
they who shall ever desire to know what it was when it be- 
gan to be, may be sure that their guide through paths of 
inquiry, which were sometimes dark and difficult, always car- 
ried with him the light of perfect truthfulness of purpose ; 
always gave to his readers a merciful construction of all that 
was fairly open to construction, but never permitted mercy to 
conceal or disfigure the truth ; always sought to be just, ex- 
actly just, entirely just ; and always gathered and made the 
most considerate and careful use of all the information, of 
every kind whatever, which could be obtained by unsparing 
expenditure of time, labor, or money, at home or abroad ; and 
this in the very period when the necessary information might 
be found most abundantly and most accurately. 

That he made some mistakes, I do not doubt, although I 
know not what they were. But I do not believe, that any 
farther investigation, any argument not yet suggested, or 
any evidence as yet undiscovered, will falsify in important 
respects the conclusions which he formed and expressed. I 
believe that he has given to us and to all time a narrative of 
the great facts he relates, and portraitures of the great men 
he writes of, which the future will accept as true. His word- 
painting of Washington, for example, will carry down to 
distant generations the intellectual and moral features of the 
Father of his country, as Stuart's portrait will carry down 
the lineaments and expression of his face. And Sparks's 
word-painting will endure when Stuart's canvas is dust. 

I have said nothing of the persistent energy which over- 
came, from the very beginning of his manhood, and even 
earlier, obstacles which most men would have found invinci- 
ble ; nothing of his sagacity, and the strong and wide grasp 
of his understanding; nothing of him in the narrow — the 
rapidly narrowing — circle of those nearest friends, whom he 


loved so well, and who loved him so well ; nothing of him in 
the home which he filled with happiness for them who were 
nearer to him than friends. As recollections throng upon me, 
it seems to me that I have only begun to speak of him. But 
it is time that I should close. 

I trust, however, that you, Sir, will pardon me, if I add one 
thought which pressed upon me during the days and even- 
ings when I sat by the bed where he was dying. There lay 
a man who had been gifted with excellent qualities; and these, 
during a long and busy life, were disciplined, cultivated, in- 
vigorated, to the last of that life. Can a rational man believe 
that all this long progress was towards — nothingness ? His 
wisdom and his goodness were the means of usefulness, and 
of happiness to himself and to others. Through all those 
many years, they grew and accumulated. Is it rational to 
believe that all this growth and accumulation were only 
for their own extinction? I refer not now to religious faith. 
I appeal only to reasonableness and probability. His life, un- 
usually long, was far more than commonly useful and happy. 
But it was also, if judged by any test we can apply, a con- 
stant preparation for more usefulness and more happiness. 
What is there in the universe, or in its facts or in its laws, 
which justifies the belief that all this long-continued and ever- 
advancing preparation was — for no end ? I am sure, and I 
have reason to be sure, that my dear friend would not himself 
have thought so. And I believe he would regard it as the 
crowning usefulness of his long and useful life, if the thought 
of him should suggest to any mind, or confirm in any mind, 
the great truth, that death is but a step forward in life. 

The Hon. Charles G. Loring spoke as follows : — 

In contemplating the termination of the mystery of earthly 
life in the profounder mystery of death, it is a common re- 
mark, tiiat none have such trusting and cheerful faith in 
immortality as those who have most often stood by the death- 


bed and the grave of the venerated and beloved. Nor is 
there in this any paradox ; for they most deeply realize 
the need of the support which faith alone can give, and 
feel most vividly the argument derived from the seeming want 
of a fitting conclusion to the experiences and discipline of 
life, and of the consistent goodness of the Creator, which 
the doubt of such immortality seems to imply. In these days 
of multifarious psychological discussion, of the subjective 
and the objective, of the conditioned and unconditioned, of 
intuition and positivism, which seem to have made necessary 
the invention of a new language, it is hardly safe perhaps for 
the uninitiated to venture any expression of belief in any par- 
ticular hypothesis. But, be the doctrine of the schools what 
it may, the exception is believed to be rare in which, at such 
seasons, the intuitions from the inner life of its immortality 
need the aid of any other argument for it than their own ex- 
istence, or are not sufficient to baffle all that can be urged 
against it. And the circumstance that this conviction is the 
strongest when we stand by the grave of those most pro- 
foundly venerated and beloved, adds not a little to the 
weight of argument. So that those who have best aided in 
solving the mystery of life are no less our helpers in solving 
that of death. 

In this presence I need not add, that our friend, whose 
departure we commemorate this evening, was eminently of 
that number. 

With so many around me so much more competent to 
speak of the extent and peculiar value of his literary produc- 
tions, I shall forbear entering upon that field. These shelves, 
and those of every the humblest library in the land, bear 
monuments of his intense industry, and of his claims upon 
the gratitude of his country as the pioneer in her Revolution- 
ary history, which the humblest as well as the most learned 
of her sons can, to some extent at least, appreciate, and to 

which time must ever give increasing value. 



My purpose this evening is to speak only and very briefly 
of his personal character and influences in social life, of which 
all who knew him could judge, and which it requires no elo- 
quence to portray. 

In social intercourse, extending very nearly over half a 
century, for a while blended with official relations to him as 
President of the College, and long since ripened into earnest 
friendship, I have enjoyed opportunity for a thorough knowl- 
edge of the principles and dispositions which were the rule 
and beauty of his daily life ; and in the simplest truth may 
I say, that no character ever impressed me with more affec- 
tionate and profound regard for its manly loveliness and 

There were, indeed, no prominently salient points or 
peculiarities which arrested attention as those upon which 
that loveliness or dignity depended, as distinguished from 
others ; for the qualities of his mind and heart were so ad- 
mirably blended and rounded off, as tended rather to obscure 
than to disclose the peculiar strength or beauty of either. 
And yet he was a man of remarkable personal identity, dis- 
tinguishing him from all around him with a vividness of out- 
line which no peculiar trait of genius, however striking, could 
have rendered more impressive. Of all the good, interest- 
ing, or great men whom it has been our happiness to know, 
it may be doubted whether any one will be more readily 
recalled to mind, in the lineaments of personal appearance 
and manners, and in all the qualities of mind and heart, which 
rendered his presence so pleasing, attractive, and impressive. 

If we were called upon to state the peculiar impression 
made by his personal appearance and character, we should 
say, that of massive but composed strength. 

His stature, his posture while standing, his firm step, his 
capacious head, projecting brow, large but noble features 
and compressed lips, his firm and deliberate speech, — all in- 
dicated great strength, though ever subordinate to a com- 


posure, gravity, and gentle dignity, whose control it could 
never transcend. 

And so was it also with his mind and heart. 

If we contemplate the workings of his will, we find this 
strength enabling hiin to carve out a fortune of brilliant suc- 
cess in all that is most desirable in life, from the most adverse 
and discouraging circumstances of youth; and carrying him 
through Herculean labor, as the pioneer in the Revolutionary 
history of the country, in accumulating, arranging, and illus- 
trating materials which render his works the foundation and 
treasure-house of all future history upon the subject, and 
have given to his name an honorable immortality. 

If we turn to his affections, we find the same strength 
there, in the never-ceasing and profound manifestation of 
them to all around him ; yet so mildly shining in his gentle- 
ness of manner, his cordial and benignant smile, his playful 
humor, friendly sympathies, and ready generosity, and tem- 
pering so kindly that resolute will, and all assertion of prin- 
ciple or opinion, that all consciousness of it seems lost in 
their gentler radiance. 

And, when we seek for the principles which were the rule 
of his life, the same quiet, uniform strength is at the founda- 
tion of them, rendering them sovereign over all the workings 
of his intellect, all his aspirations, all his affections, and all 
his intercourse with his fellow-men ; and with such familiar 
and habitual mastery, that we think only of a pure and lofty 
sense of duty as the leading trait of his character. 

And so, in the manifestations of his intellect, the like 
strength is exhibited in its intense and long-continued de- 
votion to the most laborious and exhaustive course of literary 
labor ; in thoroughness of research, in comprehensive grasp, 
in careful discrimination, and in its clear perception of truth; 
raising him above the atmosphere of prejudice, fear, favor, 
or affection, to take his place among those who are to be ac- 
counted the oracles of history. 


If it were the mission of our friend to exercise any pecu- 
liar moral influence upon the world, or upon those with whom 
he was more immediately associated, all will probably agree, 
that it was to promote the cause and the love of truth. To 
this his heart and mind were devoted in his religious, his- 
torical, and biographical writings, in a manner securing uni- 
versal respect, however much others may have differed from 
him in speculative opinions or results. His influence in that 
direction has become, and must for ever continue to be, an 
operative moral force in all the records of our Nation's life. 
It was, indeed, most happy for her that such a man appeared, 
at the time when the materials for an authentic account of 
the great struggle which gave her birth, and of the charac- 
ters and exploits of the chief agents in it, were falling into 
forgetfulness, or becoming more and more difficult of com- 
bination, to rescue them from oblivion, — a man endowed with 
the capacity and elevation of mind to make of them the 
broad and sure foundations of her history. 

Nor was this influence less sensibly felt in social and 
friendly intercourse. No one could ever question his sin- 
cerity in any sentiment or opinion he uttered, nor his single 
desire for truth in any discussion into which he entered. He 
was eminently frank, and no less catholic, in conversation and 
argument. He contributed his full share to the mirthful 
badinage or playful satire of the festive board, and enjoyed 
them heartily, but never uttered a word that left a sting 
behind. Always most kindly cordial, and generally disposed 
to enter freely into conversation, or the discussion of any 
topic presented, he was, at times, seemingly under the in- 
fluence of a temporary sadness, resulting from constitutional 
temperament, but which detracted nothing from the affection- 
ate welcome which always attended his presence, while it 
sometimes added to the interest of his sentiments and opin- 

Of the members of an association of friends whose history 


spans nearly a half a century of the most familiar and un- 
restrained social intercourse, there was no one more re- 
spected and beloved, — no one whose presence was ever 
more welcome, or whose rare absence was more regretted. 
And there, where the deep influences of character would be 
most felt, may be found those, all of whom will bear earnest 
testimony to the purity, gentleness, sincerity, generosity, and 
strength of which his was composed. 

Of the religious sentiments and character of Mr. Sparks, 
little need be said here among those familiar with his early 
life as a public teacher of divine truth, with his writings in 
defence of the convictions which he professed, or with his 
other literary productions. A sense of religious faith and 
responsibility was an evident essential element of his being. 
It governed him alike in his public and private walks, and 
sustained him, as such faith alone can sustain, as he was con- 
sciously approaching to the close of his useful and happy 
life. " I think," he said, " that I shall not recover ; but I am 
happy." And when questioned whether he was rightly un- 
derstood in saying that he was happy, his answer was, " Cer- 
tainly." He clung with fond tenacity to the simple forms of 
congregational worship, and greatly deprecated any innova- 
tion upon them of more sensuous modes. This was not, 
however, from any bigoted distrust of the sincerity of those 
who sought or desired them as helps in sentiment or faith ; 
but unable, in his own clear perception of the relations be- 
tween God and man, and his deep sense of the obligations 
they involve, to realize any need of them, he feared their 
tendency to dim that perception in others, by substituting 
the form for the substance, the outward manifestation for the 
inward reality. 

To the multitude of his fellow-citizens, the departure of 
this great and good man may perhaps seem of little moment, 
as they pay their last tribute of respect to his memory. His 
work on earth was finished, — his natural term of life more 


than accomplished. But they will not cease to be benefited 
by what he has done for them. The influences of his intellect 
and example upon the history of the country, and those of 
his life and character upon society, — widely spread and per- 
manent, however invisible, — will still continue to fall upon 
them and those who shall follow them, like the mellow sun- 
shine or the silent dew, long after his name shall cease to be 
familiar upon their lips, and however unconscious they may 
be of the blessing or of its author. But who shall attempt 
to depict the grief of the stricken household and the family 
circle in which he was so profoundly venerated, so tenderly 
beloved, and whose cup of daily happiness he was accus- 
tomed to fill? 

Nor to us, his contemporaries, to whom he was a compan- 
ion of our journey, who climbed with him the hill of life, 
sympathizing in its successes and its trials, and who were 
descending hand in hand with him to the shadows at its foot, 
can the loss be repaired. A portion of our waning sunlight 
is quenched; the twilight has become more dim; we have 
taken another long step on the edge of the dark valley. We 
may hope for nothing more than that our end may be like his. 

Colonel Aspinwall said : — 

Mr. President, — As an attached friend of our deceased 
associate, Jared Sparks, I should prefer to listen in silence to 
others, rather than attempt to give utterance to my own 
thoughts on this solemn occasion. 

The beauty and the purity of his life are all before you in 
memory, and as they have just been portrayed in the elo- 
quent addresses of our respected colleagues. To their 
eulogies I can add very little. But as a member of this 
Historical Society, and especially as, by the Society's favor, 
I have been honored with an official station by his side, I 
feel it right to say, that I share very deeply in the general 
sorrow for our great loss, and in the profound respect here 


entertained for the virtues, the learning, talents, and works 
of a departed colleague, whose labors have added so greatly 
to the value and the mass of American history. 

The whole nation, to the end of time, will be his debtor, for 
the unfaltering perseverance and eager research with which 
he sought out, in nearly all parts of the United States as well 
as in foreign lands, scattered materials, public and private, of 
our Colonial and Revolutionary history ; and not less so for 
the scrupulous care and discernment with which he se- 
lected and arranged them for publication, or wrought them 
into the form of biographical or political history. 

His conscientious exactness in regard to the truth of nar- 
rative, and the justness of historical judgments or opinions, 
makes him one of the most useful and impartial of modern 
historians. While pursuing his researches in England, he 
was mortified to discover some things that conflicted with 
our received opinions, and were not favorable to our side of 
the question. When asked if he could not suppress them, 
or explain them away, he earnestly replied, " No, it is impos- 
sible : it is my duty to declare the exact truth, and I shall 
do so." No national or party bias, nor the desire to make 
his writings acceptable or popular, could turn him aside 
from the path of rectitude. Of course, when the accuracy 
of some of his statements was acrimoniously questioned, as 
it was in one or two instances here and abroad, his accu- 
sers gained only dishonor for themselves. In his replies, 
which were demonstrative refutations, he followed the course 
he had taken, in the earlier part of his life, in the defence 
of his theological creed. He was careful to make his " mod- 
eration known to all men," and equally careful that no man 
" should despise his youth " or manhood. 

In social life, though one of the most unassuming of men, 
he made himself loved wherever he went. Even children 
were won by his gentle and kind-hearted treatment, and, al- 
most on a first acquaintance, clung to him as to an old friend. 


All of us remember the unobtrusive amenity of his deport- 
ment among us ; the habitual shade of melancholy, occasion- 
ally tinged and lighted up with a slight glow of humor ; and 
the cordial readiness with which he always came forward, 
whenever requested, to elucidate points of history, or to 
give his good counsel on subjects connected with the wel- 
fare or purposes of the Society. 

All greeted him with frank confidence; and we shall all 
long remember and mourn him as a lost brother. 

Eloquent and feeling tributes were also paid by the 
Hon. James Savage, the Rev. George E. Ellis, D.D., 
Professors Bowen and Peabody of Harvard College, 
and the Rev. Robert C. Waterston. 

Letters from Mr. Ticknor and from Mr. Francis 
Parkman, who were prevented by illness from being 
present to join in tributes to their late associate and 
friend, were read at the meeting. 

The resolutions were unanimously adopted, all the 
members rising. 

A copy of each of the works of Dr. Sparks, repre- 
senting his written and his editorial labors (numbering 
over one hundred volumes), was exhibited upon the 

A copy of the bust of Dr. Sparks, by Powers, was 
also placed in the room. 

1866.] ANNUAL MEETING. 177 


The Society held its annual meeting this day, Thurs- 
day, April 12, at eleven o'clock ; the President, the 
Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, in the chair. 

The Librarian announced donations from the Com- 
monwealth of Massachusetts ; the City of Boston ; the 
Boston Society of Natural History ; the Essex Institute ; 
the New-England Historic -Genealogical Society; the 
New-England Loyal Publication Society ; the Royal 
Academy of Sciences of Lisbon ; the State Historical 
Society of Wisconsin ; the Young Men's Mercantile 
Library Association of Cincinnati; the Publishers of 
the "Eight Way"; Mr. Arthur Amory; John Apple- 
ton, M. D.; Rev. Caleb D. Bradlee; Samuel Brush, Esq.; 
Count Adolphe de Cir court ; Deloraine P. Corey, Esq. ; 
Henry B. Dawson, Esq. ; Mr. John W. Dean ; Mr. Ezra 
C. Dyer ; Professor Daniel C. Gilman ; Charles H. Hart, 
Esq. ; Ludwig Henselmann, Esq. ; Hon. Samuel Hooper; 
Benjamin P. Johnson, Esq. ; Thomas S. Kirkbride, M.D. ; 
Mr. Henry J. -Morgan ; William J. Rhees, Esq. ; Hon. 
Alexander H. Rice ; Benjamin S. Shaw, M.D. ; Horatio 
G. Somerby, Esq. ; Henry R. Stiles, M.D. ; Daniel E. 
Webb, Esq. ; Hon. Henry Wilson ; Colonel James G. 
Wilson ; Mrs. Joseph E. Worcester ; and from Messrs. 
Deane, Green, Lawrence, Metcalf, C. Robbins, Ticknor, 
Wheatland, and Winthrop, of the Society. 

James Parton, of New York, was elected a Corre- 
sponding Member. 


Dr. x\ppleton, the Assistant Librarian, requested per- 
mission to make a copy of the facsimile of the Pro- 
ceedings of the Town of Ipswich in opposition to Sir 
Edmund Andross, which Dr. Appleton had presented to 
the Society a few years since. 

These applications were granted under the rules. 

Two printed broadsides, presented by Mr. E. C. Dyer, 
of Cambridge, were communicated by the President. 
One of these was a " Notification " by Thomas Clark, 
Town Clerk of the Town of Boston, dated February 
26th, 1822, calling upon " The Freeholders and other 
Inhabitants of the Town of Boston ... to meet at 
Faneuil Hall, on Monday, the fourth day of March 
next, at 10 o'clock, a.m., to give in their ballots on 
the following questions, viz. : — 

" 1st, Will you accept the charter granted by the 
Legislature, entitled ; An Act to establish the City of 
Boston,' as passed on the twenty-third day of February, 

" 2d, Shall the elections for State and United-States 
officers be holden in General Meeting I " 

The second paper is dated " Centinel Office, 12 
o'clock, August 19, 1824," and is headed " General 
Lafayette," and reads as follows : " The Mayor has this 
moment received official information from New York, 
that Major-General Lafayette will proceed forthwith 
to Boston, and will be at the Half-way House between 
Providence and Boston on Sunday evening next; and 
that he will enter Boston the next day. The arrange- 
ments for his reception will be announced on Saturday." 

The chairman of the Standing Committee, the Treas- 


ttrer, the Librarian, and the Cabinet-keeper, presented 
their Annual Reports, which were accepted and re- 
ferred to the Committee on the Publication of the 

Annual Re-port of the Standing Committee. 

The Standing Committee of the Massachusetts Historical 
Society, on a review of its condition and action during the 
past year, have found little which requires to be particularly 
mentioned in their Annual Report. 

Since the last annual meeting, the Society has had to 
mourn the loss of four of its best known and most esteemed 
associates, to whose memory fitting tributes have already 
been paid, — Mr. Willard, Mr. Livermore, Dr. Worcester, and 
Dr. Sparks, its first Vice-President. The deaths of six Hon- 
orary and Corresponding members have also been brought 
to the notice of the Society in the course of the year. Five 
Resident Members and one Corresponding Member-have been 
elected during the same time. 

The Library and Cabinet of the Society have been exam- 
ined, and found to be in their usual good order. For particu- 
lar information respecting them, the Committee beg leave to 
refer to the Reports of the Librarian and the Cabinet-keeper; 
and, for a detailed statement of the financial condition of the 
Society, to the Report of the Treasurer. 

The Standing Committee would, however, suggest to their 
associates, that the existing shelves and book-cases of the 
Society are quite insufficient for the proper arrangement 
of the books and manuscripts already in its possession, and 
afford very little accommodation for future additions. At the 
same time, for want of means, the Library is falling far behind 
what it should be, and is very defective even in works of 
such primary value as Histories of the nation, and of the dif- 
ferent States, Counties, Cities, and Towns. The Committee 


feel that they cannot too strongly urge upon the members of 
the Society the importance, not to say the necessity, of an 
increase of its pecuniary resources. 

No volume of the Collections of the Society has been 
completed since the last annual meeting; but one is now in 
the course of preparation, and the materials for another are 
ready for the press. Several of our members have published, 
outside of the Society, original works of great historical 
interest, among which Parkman's " Pioneers of France in the 
New World," and Frothingham's "Life of Warren," deserve 
special mention. 

In closing this brief abstract of the life of the Society 
during the past year, the Standing Committee would respect- 
fully remind their fellows, that the recent loss of so many of 
the leading members and most faithful workers of the Soci- 
ety calls upon the survivors for increased labor and devotion, 
if they wish to prove themselves worthy to be associates and 
successors of those who have been taken from us, and to 
maintain and transmit the reputation and usefulness of the 

All which is respectfully submitted. 
For the Committee, 

Horace Gray, Jr., Chairman. 

Annual Beport of the Treasurer. 

The Treasurer of the Massachusetts Historical Society 
presents the following statement of its financial condition : — 


Balance due Treasurer, April, 1865 $1,632.43 

John Appleton 999.97 

George Arnold 699.96 

Insurance 187.50 

Boston Taxes 1,027.00 

Sundries 433.41 

Amount carried forward $4,980.27 


Amount brought forward $4,980.27 

Massachusetts Historical Trust-Fund 120.00 

Appleton Fund 732.18 

Printing 700.77 

Binding 221.44 

Coal 115.00 



Rent of Suffolk Savings Institution $2,200.00 

Assessments 819.00 

Admission Fees 30.00 

Sales of Society's Publications 302.65 

Tax of Suffolk Savings Bank 1,027.00 

Sale of $1000 U. S. Stock 1,062.00 

Interest on U. S. Stock 42.30 

Sundries 20.40 

Balance due the Treasurer 1,366.31 



Account ending April, 1866. 


John Appleton, services $200.03 

Benjamin Bradley, binding Collections, vol. vii 112.95 

Balance in the Treasurer's hands 761.66 

$1,07 4.64 


Balance of Account of 1865 $342.46 

One Year's Interest on the Investment in Society's Build- 
ing 732.18 



Account to April, 1866. 


Balance in the Treasurer's hands $750.57 

$750 57 


Balance of Account of 1865 $630.57 

Income to April, 1866 120.00 


* For a particular description of the different funds belonging to the Society, see 
the Treasurer's account of last year. 



The Estate on Tremont Street. — The Society purchased, 
March 6, 1833, of the Provident Savings Institution, the 
second story, and one-half of the attic story, of this building, 
for $6,500 ; and on the 13th of March, 1856, the remainder 
of the interest of this institution, for 135,000. A portion of 
this was paid by subscription ; and, for the remainder, the 
Society mortgaged the whole estate to the Suffolk Savings 
Bank for Seamen and Others, for $27,500. This mortgage 
was discharged on the 7th of April, 1863. The payments on 
the note have been as follows: Two thousand dollars from 
the legacy of Miss Mary P. Townsend ; sixteen hundred dol- 
lars from the legacy of the late Nathaniel I. Bowditch ; five 
hundred dollars from the Historical Trust-Fund ; twelve thou- 
sand two hundred and three dollars from the net proceeds 
of the sale of stocks of the Appleton Fund; ten thousand 
dollars from the note of Hyde and Watriss, constituting the 
Dowse Fund ; and the balance, eleven hundred and ninety- 
seven dollars, from a donation by the late Hon. William Stur- 
gis, to enable the Society to discharge the mortgage. The 
lower floor is rented to the Suffolk Savings Institution for 
fifteen years from March 1, 1856, at an annual rent of $2,200. 

The Library, Paintings, and Cabinet. — The Library con- 
sists of about thirteen thousand bound volumes, and twenty 
thousand pamphlets. 

The Society's Publications. — These consist of the thirty- 
seven volumes of the Collections, five volumes of Proceed- 
ings, and two volumes of the Catalogue, — nearly eight 
thousand volumes, which are for sale. 

The Appleton Fund, of ten thousand dollars ; The Massa- 
chusetts Historical Trust-Fund, of two thousand dollars; The 
Dowse Fund, of ten thousand dollars, — all invested in the 
real estate of the Society, as explained in this Report. 

The Dowse Library. — This Library was presented to the 

1866.] LIBRARIAN'S REPORT. . 183 

Society by the late Thomas Dowse, and consists of about five 
thousand volumes. 

The Copyright and Stereotype Plates of the " Life of John 
Quincy Adams" — This was presented to the Society by the 
Hon. Josiah Quincy. A new edition is on sale by Nichols 
& Noyes. 


The income of the Society consists of an annual assess- 
ment on each resident member, of seven dollars — or, instead, 
the payment of sixty dollars ; the admission fee, of ten dol- 
lars, of new members ; the rent of the lower floor of the 
Society's building; the sales of the publications of the So- 
ciety ; and the sales of the " Life of John Quincy Adams. " 

It will be seen that the amount realized from the sales of 

the Society's publications, the last year, was only $302.65, — 

not half the sum realized the previous financial year ; and 

this notwithstanding unusual effort has been made to dispose 

of them. The Society have on hand 5,197 bound volumes, 

and 2,475 unbound. It is not too much to say, that they 

embody a vast amount of invaluable material for American 

history, which no student of it can afford to neglect ; and it 

is fair to presume that these volumes will in time be called 

for. In the mean time, should the Society continue its usual 

labors, it will be necessary to provide additional means. 

* Richard Frothingham, 

Boston, April 10, 1866. 

Annual Report of the Librarian. 

Depending chiefly on voluntary contributions, we cannot 
but entertain a profound sense of gratification at the steady 
growth of our Library. The additions since our last Annual 


Report, amounting to six thousand two hundred and seventy- 
two in number, of which five hundred and ten are printed 
volumes, greatly exceed the average of previous years. 
Frequent and valuable gifts from the President, in all more 
than two hundred ; continued benefactions from another of 
our associates, in donations of town histories and publications 
relating to the late rebellion ; an extensive collection of books 
and pamphlets from John F. Eliot, Esq., formerly belonging 
.to his grandfather, one of our original founders, — deserve 
our especial acknowledgment. Among the last is a complete 
set of Fleet's Register, commencing with the year 1779, 
which, from its rarity and the information it contains, not 
to be found elsewhere, is peculiarly acceptable. The whole 
number of volumes at present in the Library is nearly eigh- 
teen thousand ; of pamphlets, twenty thousand. 

All our shelves are now filled; and late accessions, number- 
ing several hundreds, are temporarily deposited in the large 
upper room. Nearly eight thousand pamphlets are heaped 
upon the floor of the adjacent apartment, the cases provided 
being already crowded. In bringing this fact to the knowl- 
edge of the Society, it is not intended to discourage further 
donations. It must ever be our paramount obligation to per- 
fect our collection in all its departments, securing every issue 
from the press, old or recent, which can, by any possibility, 
ever be in request. Opportunities neglected may never re- 
cur. When all our available space is occupied, we should 
make more ; for it is far better to submit to inconvenience, 
than fail to procure, while in our power, material that future 
historians may need. 

One serious embarrassment from limited shelf-room is un- 
avoidable confusion in arrangement. Order is an essential 
element of every well-regulated library, and has been a 
marked feature of our own, since it was placed under the 
charge of Dr. Appleton. Works on the same subject, or analo- 
gous in character, are contiguously disposed, the eye embrac- 

18G6.] librarian's report. 185 

ing them all at a glance. Authorities to the same point, 
for convenient reference and comparison, should be in close 
proximity ; and it is matter of common experience how much 
more tenaciously we retain nice distinctions and interesting 
facts from having constantly in view, in their proper connec- 
tion, the volumes from which we have obtained them. Folios 
and duodecimos, though intimately related from common au- 
thorship or identity of topic, must generally be distributed 
according to size, and chronological or geographical order be 
subordinate to symmetry or economy of space. But, where 
this rule of contiguity cannot be strictly observed in one 
direction, it may be in another ; and, while each volume has its 
place not often disturbed, accommodation should be reserved 
in its neighborhood for accessions of a kindred nature. With 
our present contracted limits, this exact classification is con- 
stantly becoming more difficult. We must content ourselves 
with approximation to completeness, until we possess an 
edifice more nearly commensurate with the objects of the 

As many years may elapse before it becomes expedient 
again to change our location, one mode of relief that has been 
suggested deserves consideration. By substituting a Man- 
sard roof for the present one, another commodious story 
might be gained for the uses of the Library. Our " collec- 
tions " and unbound newspapers are now stored in the attic ; 
but if that floor be improved as proposed, and connected with 
that beneath by a circular flight of iron steps, the new apart- 
ment could be devoted to pamphlets and public documents 
not often consulted, and accommodation left below for several 
thousand volumes. This estate may be soon more valuable 
for other purposes ; hut the improvement, judiciously made, 
will enhance, to the full extent of its cost, the price realized 
in the event of sale. If not deemed advisable to make this 
alteration now, we have it in reserve. 

Methodical arrangement, all-important with regard to 



books, is not less to be studied in the assortment and pres- 
ervation of pamphlets. If generally ephemeral in their na- 
ture, they serve to. transmit the " form and pressure" of the 
times that produce them, and are indispensable to historical 
inquiry in determining the true character of events, contro- 
versies, and personages of particular epochs. From his long 
familiarity with the subject, and thorough knowledge of what 
has been tried and approved in other collections, Dr. Apple- 
ton has devised a plan for making our rich stores readily 
available, admitting of indefinite extension without confu- 
sion. By their distribution under twelve different heads of — 
1. Addresses ; 2. Almanacs ; 3. Catalogues ; 4. Celebrations ; 
5. Documents : 6. Memoirs ; 7. Orations ; 8. Reports ; 9. Ser- 
mons ; 10. Speeches; 11. Trials; 12. Miscellanies; with nu- 
merous subordinate classifications ; — every separate publica- 
tion can be promptly brought within reach of the student. 
Some of them, which are peculiarly precious, may be of suffi- 
cient value to be bound separately, others in regular series 
in volumes ; but the great mass are to be arranged in cases, 
suitably labelled and numbered, where they are accessible, and 
at the same time little exposed either to wear or tear or dust. 
As received, each pamphlet is marked with initials corre- 
sponding to the division to which it belongs ; and these initials 
are also inscribed in the margin of the catalogue card, indi- 
cating the place where it is to be found. The arrangement 
in each division is alphabetical, under the names of the 
authors, where known ; otherwise, following the subject or 
title of the tract. A complete card catalogue, such as is now 
generally to be found in every large library, wherein each 
book as well as pamphlet is indicated in triplicate by subject, 
author, and title, is useful ; and such a one we have in prep- 
aration. We might well wish to possess such a double classi- 
fied catalogue of authors and subjects as that for pamphlets 
at the Athenaeum. It would be also convenient for those 
who, at a distance, have occasion to consult our Library, or to 

1866.] librarian's report. 187 

have copies prepared from volumes not to be found anywhere 
else, to have our printed catalogue completed. A Library 
without such a catalogue is nearly as valueless as a book of 
reference without an index. The plan described for pamph- 
lets, combining simplicity and economy of labor, will serve 
our purpose for a time ; and we may well leave to our suc- 
cessors, and to the more prosperous days of the Society, the 
task of perfecting it. In the hope that this plan will be 
permanently retained, its details, not before presented in the 
Proceedings, are appended to this Report. 

The expediency of procuring every publication and docu- 
ment, in print or manuscript, relating to the late rebellion, 
cannot be too strenuously urged. No pains should be spared 
to obtain whatever will throw light on the motives which have 
actuated in this contest individuals or masses. To appre- 
hend correctly its civil and military history, the addresses, 
general orders and reports of Confederate, as well as of 
Federal, leaders must be examined. When, after a few 
years or generations, all cause of irritation has -been re- 
moved and animosities have subsided, either side of the 
quarrel will afford useful lessons for example or caution. 
By correspondence with intelligent persons in the Southern 
country, able and disposed to aid, much that may prove of 
the greatest value at a future day could be gleaned. If the 
Committee appointed for this duty had a small appropriation 
at their disposal, the result would no doubt repay the cost. 

For this and similar objects, to bind books that need it, 
supply odd volumes to broken sets, or to perfect series where 
incomplete, to obtain the latest historical productions fresh 
from the press, to rescue precious waifs from auctions or 
second-hand repositories, we much need a permanent fund. 
If the favored almoners of Providence, who possess the will 
and the way to mark their path with golden footprints, 
would divert from other claims a trickle of their bounty ; if 
a few thousands, or even hundreds, of dollars were allowed 


to accumulate until the income should prove sufficient to pur- 
chase books we need, not likely to be bestowed, — we should 
in time possess a collection adequate to our wants, and to 
the position which we hold as the oldest American Historical 

Thomas C. Amoby, Librarian. 

System of Classification of Pamphlets in the Library of the Massa- 
chusetts Historical Society. 

1. Addresses. — Educational, Historical, Medical, Political, Society, 

and Miscellaneous. 

2. Almanacs. — Isaiah Thomas's, Robert B. Thomas's, and Miscel- 


3. Catalogues. — Book, College, Library, School, Society, and 


4. Celebrations. — Centennial, Miscellaneous. 

5. Documents. — City, Law, Library, Political, State, Town, United 


6. Memoirs. — Biographical, Genealogical, Historical. 

7. Orations. — Boston, Collegiate, Fourth of July. Occasional. 

8. Reports. — Benevolent Institutions, Educational, Library, Medi- 

cal, Railroad, Society, and Miscellaneous. 

9. Sermons. — Artillery Election, Centennial, Convention, Dedica- 

tion, Election, East, Funeral, Historical, Installation, Ordi- 
nation, Society, and Miscellaneous. 

10. Speeches. — Congressional, Legislative. 

11. Trials. — Judicial. 

12. Miscellaneous. — Anti-Slavery, Boston, Coinage and Currency, 

College, Ecclesiastical, Educational, Harvard College, Histori- 
cal, Library, Medical, Masonic and Anti-Masonic, Political, 
Prison Discipline, Railroad, Society, Statistical, Theological, 
and Unclassified Pamphlets. 


Report of the Cabinet-keeper. 

The Cabinet-keeper has the honor to submit the following 
Report, which, on account of his unavoidable absence, is the 
first which he has been able to make for five years. He 
would acknowledge his indebtedness, during this time, to the 
Assistant Librarian, Dr. John Appleton, for the care and at- 
tention he has given to the Cabinet, and for the Reports 
he has, with the exception of the last year, annually made. 

The accessions to the Cabinet have been from fourteen 
different individuals. The following list comprises the most 
important : A cane, formerly belonging to John Hancock, and 
given by Charles L. Hancock, Esq. ; a portrait of Governor 
Strong, copied from Stuart's picture by Chester Harding, 
and given by Joseph Lyman, Esq. ; a portrait of the Rev. 
Jeremy Belknap, D.D., one of the principal founders of this 
Society, painted by Henry Sargent in 1798, and presented 
by his grand-daughter, Mrs. Jules Marcou ; an engraving of 
the Hon. Daniel Webster, given by our associate, William G. 
Brooks, Esq. ; and a portrait of the Rev. John Eliot, D.D., a 
former member of this Society, from his nephew, John F. 
Eliot, Esq. 

The Society has a very interesting and valuable collection 
of portraits of distinguished persons. Many of the paint- 
ings deserve better places than they now occupy, and others 
will soon require the attention of a skilful artist to protect 
them from the further ravages of time. 

There is also a collection of Indian relics, consisting prin- 
cipally of weapons and implements. It is to be hoped that 
this department of our Cabinet will soon receive that atten- 
tion which so important a branch of American Archaeology 

The Cabinet-keeper refrains from repeating certain sug- 
gestions, which, if adopted, would involve an expense that 


the treasury could not at present easily bear. He looks for- 
ward to the time, however, when changes will be made, by 
which the various articles can be more conveniently shown 
than at present, and be more readily examined by all who 
frequent these rooms. 

Respectfully submitted, 

Samuel A. Green, Cabinet-keeper. 
April 12, 1866. 

Mr. S. Lincoln, from the Nominating Committee, 
reported the following list of officers for the ensuing 
year : — 

Hon. ROBERT C WINTHROP, LL.D. .' Boston. 


Colonel THOMAS ASPINWALL, A.M Boston. 

Hon. JOHN C. GRAY, LL.D Boston. 

Recording Secretary. 
CHARLES DEANE, A.M Cambridge. 

Corresponding Secretary. 






Standing Committee. 




HENRY W. TORREY, A.M Cambridge. 



The above-named gentlemen were unanimously 

On motion of Dr. Bobbins, it was Voted, That the 
thanks of the Society be tendered to the Hon. Judge 
Gray and the Rev. G. E. Ellis, the retiring Members of 
the Standing Committee, for their valuable services. 

Mr. Folsom moved that a Committee be appointed 
to prepare an authentic list of the Archives of the 

The motion was adopted, and the President appointed 
Messrs. Folsom, Amory, and Green to constitute that 

The President read the following letter from the Hon. 
Hugh Blair Grigsby, LL.D., of Virginia, and addressed 
to himself: — 

Charlotte Court-house, Va., March 30, 1866. 
My Dear Sir, — Five years and fourteen days have elapsed since 
I received a letter from you, — a period of time that will ever be 
memorable, not only in our own history, but in that of the human race. 
In all that interval, I did not see a single company under arms, though 
more than a million of men were engaged in the fearful affray on one 
side, at one time ; for it was reported, at the time of the surrender of 
General Lee, that General Grant told that officer that he had a mil- 
lion of men under his command. Yet, though secluded on my farm in 
this county, and taking no part in the struggle, I suffered in my estate 
most severely. I lost fifteen valuable horses at a single raid, and of 
course all my servants, — at least one hundred in number. Other losses 
to a great amount I suffered ; and now, when old age is approaching, I 
am required to exercise a degree of thrift and economy, which — at no 
time, from my simple habits of life, very uncongenial — is not more 
pleasant because it is necessary. Should matters remain as they are, I 
shall have enough left to educate my son of ten, and my daughter of six 
years, and give them a fair start in the world. As these are my only 
children, and all I ever had, and as I was immured on my estate dur- 
ing the' whole war, I met with no loss of life in my family. The 


health of my wife was as good as usual during the war ; and thus my 
household remains as it was at the beginning. 

I am now on my estate in Charlotte County, which has been my 
legal residence for more than a quarter of a century. For the ten 
years previous to 1861, I usually spent half the year in Norfolk, 
which is the place of my birth and the abode of my personal friends. 
I state these things that you may know why it is that I write to you 
from Charlotte. The county of Charlotte is not void of historical 
interest. A few miles from my house is Roanoke, the home and 
burial-place of John Randolph ; and somewhat further off is Red Hill, 
the seat of Patrick Henry and the place of his burial, now owned by 
the patriot's youngest son, John Henry, my intimate personal friend, 
who intermarried with the relations of my wife, and whose children 
are blood relations of my own. Here, too, is the grave of Paul Car- 
rington, the grandfather of my wife, and of Thomas Read, her grand- 
uncle. These two last you will see an account of in my discourse on 
"The Virginia Convention of 1776." 

And now let me ask whether it is true that one whom I so much 
esteemed and honored as President Felton is no more. I saw a single 
line in a newspaper, during the war, that Mr. C. C. Felton died at 
some place in Pennsylvania ; but the locality seemed so foreign to his 
character, that I indulged the hope that it could not be our noble 
friend. I have inquired in vain concerning him of persons who have 
visited the North, and who, being merchants, knew 7 but little of lite- 
rary men. 

Will you kindly tell me about him, and send me any notice of his 
death that has been published? Of the death of Mr. Everett I 
know ; and, as I presume the Historical Society took notice of it, you 
will greatly oblige me by sending any account of its proceedings. 

We literally know nothing of what occurred in literature during 
the last four or five years. I have not seen the " Edinburgh " or the 
"London Quarterly" for five years; or the "North American." Re- 
specting Mr. Choate, I would like to know whether his friends have 
published his writings. I have Mr. Parker's book, but would like 
exceedingly to get any thing from your great advocate, whom I very 
much admired. I trust that Mr. Hillard still lives, and Professor 
Parsons, — gentlemen whom I do not know personally, and only 
through their writings. 

The latest edition of Judge Story's Miscellaneous Writings I would 
like to procure ; and the proceedings of the Historical Society on the 

LL.D. 193 

death of Mr. Quincy, Chief-Justice Shaw, and Judge White, and of 
any other prominent members who have died recently. 

All Mr. Everett's works published in volumes I possess; but, if his 
contemplated work on the " Laws of Nations " has been published, I 
would wish to obtain it. I presume that Mr. C. F. Adams, being 
engaged abroad, has published no life or works of his father. Mr. 
Quincy's work I possess. 

Death has made sad havoc among my most intimate personal 
friends during the last four years. Mr. Tazewell died in 1860; and, 
at intervals since, President Tyler, Bishop Meade, and Professor 
Tucker. With these excellent men, whom I had known from child- 
hood, and with whose writings, for many years past, I was connected 
as a friend and coadjutor, I seem to have lost much of my moral be- 
ing. With Bishop Meade I held almost daily intercourse during the 
time he was engaged on his " Old Churches," &c. ; and not far from 
a hundred letters passed between us. Of Professor Tucker's " His- 
tory of the United States" I revised the first volume, while I spent 
a winter in Philadelphia; and, during the publication of President 
Tyler's discourses on historical topics, our communication was most 
intimate, as his references indeed show. The loss which you have 
sustained in Mr. Quincy, Mr. Everett, Mr. Felton, and others, will 
enable you to appreciate all that I feel and say on such subjects, with 
this qualification, perhaps, — that you lost only of your abundance, 
while I lost almost all. 

I have said nothing of public affairs either in the South or else- 
where ; and will only add, that, if on any point you may wish to obtain 
any information which I am able to give, I will write to you in detail, 
to the best of my knowledge in the case. I will only say that it is by 
affection, not by force, the unity of dissimilar communities is to be con- 

Is Mr. Deane living ? I hope indeed he is ; for his taste and liber- 
ality were of great service to our early historical literature. Should 
he be living, would you be so kind as to present my regards to him ? 
If he has published — or rather, I should say, privately printed — any 
morceau of late years, tell him that I would be much gratified to place 
it by the side of the treasures which he has already bestowed upon me. 

I saved my books, statuary, paintings, &c, though they suffered 
slightly by exposure. I have had all my paintings, my busts, &c, in the 
woods, covered with leaves from time to time, as a raid approached. 
My manuscripts and some precious books were from time to time 



buried ; and, on one occasion, the rain came for several days in torrents, 
and the water rose in the graves to which they were committed, and 
soaked them thoroughly : but I dried them by hot fires and a hot sun, 
without material loss. 

I need not say that any literary production of yours will be most 
acceptable. I have your volume of Speeches printed in 1852 ; and 
have bound, in a handsome form, those which you were so kind as to 
send to me, and which I value highly. 

By the way, in taking down the volume of your Speeches published 
in 1852, 1 saw the paper containing an account of the celebration of the 
Cincinnati Society in 1857, which you were so kind as to send me; 
and the fact occurred to me, that my wife is one of the few now living 
who own the Cincinnati diploma in the second degree, her father having 
been an officer in the Revolution of 1776. It is framed, and hangs 
in my dining-room. The same holds good of the children of Alex- 
ander Hamilton, two of whom, I believe, are now living; but my 
memory cannot supply me with a third, who actually holds the diploma 
in the second degree from the ancestor. During the war, I was for- 
tunate enough to purchase Stuart's portrait of the late Governor Wil- 
liam B. Giles, which represents him to have been quite handsome 
during the last century, when it was painted (1791-95). I knew him 
personally as far back as forty years ago, when he was one of the 
homeliest men I ever saw. His health was bad for many years before 
his death. I hope you may see this portrait some of these days. 

I left in my dwelling in Norfolk, in 1861, my statue of the " Fisher's 
Daughter," by Pettrich, where it remained during the war, and I got 
possession of it in November last, when my house was restored to me. 
It was taken' because I was absent at my residence in Charlotte, to 
which I removed in 1861. My painting of "The Shunammite" was 
also in my Norfolk dwelling, and it was most pleasant to see it after a 
lapse of four years. It is large, six feet by five, and perhaps larger, 
as it could not be accommodated in any of our rail cars, and was left 
behind in consequence of the inability of the cars to hold the box con- 
taining it. But alas ! you may say, to think of paintings and statues 
and books, when our country is in its present condition ! It may be 
that this is the cause of my trifling. 

As I have some paper left, and am disposed with the Antiquary to 
get the full benefit of post horses, — that is, of the public mail, — I 
would communicate a statement, which, to a person of your compre- 
hensive tastes, may not be without some interest. 


I have recently made an examination to ascertain the number of 
the survivors of the Virginia Convention of 1829-30, which consisted 
of ninety-six members, and began its sessions in October, 1829, — 
thirty-seven years ago nearly ; and the result is, that there are twelve 
survivors, the aggregate of whose ages is nine hundred and six years, 
and the average age of each survivor is seventy-five years. One died a 
month or two ago, who is reported to have been near one hundred. 
Another fact is, that the survivors are apportioned among the four 
great divisions of the State (as it once was), according to population 
nearly. The next decennial wave will sweep us all away, or nearly 
so : as, if all were living, the average age of each would be over 
eighty-five. One of the present survivors was with John Randolph, 
when he was insulted by the officers of John Adams's provisional army, 
in the theatre in the city of Philadelphia, in 1799. I have often heard 
this survivor speak of that incident. His age is near ninety. Another 
member is between eighty and ninety. James M. Mason and myself 
are the only two under seventy. He is sixty-eight, and I am not yet 
sixty. It is a mournful office to see such a body of men, so able, so 
eloquent, so vigorous as they were, pass one by one to the grave. 
And it may be well enough to say, that the deaths did not occur accord- 
ing to the ages of the members. Some of them, whom you probably 
knew, — John Y. Mason, Dromgoole, Trezvant, Goode, — died before 
their turn. 

It would be interesting to know the biological facts of your great 
Convention of 1820, in which John Adams presided, and in which 
such men as Story and Webster were among equals. 

What a theme that Convention would be in the hands of Everett or 
yourself! and would it not be a becoming thing, on its semi-centennial 
anniversary in 1870, to put forth a picture of the members as they 
appeared at the time ? Such a collection, in a single discourse, would 
be an invaluable addition to your historical literature. 

With another petition to be pardoned for drawing so heavily upon 

your patience, 

I am very truly yours, 

Hugh B. Grigsby. 
To the Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, 
Boston, Massachusetts* 



The Society held its stated monthly meeting this day, 
Thursday, May 10th, at eleven o'clock, a.m. ; Colonel 
Aspinwall, one of the Vice-Presidents (the President 
being absent), in the chair. 

The Librarian announced donations from the State of 
Ohio ; the State of Rhode Island ; the New- Jersey His- 
torical Society; the New-England Loyal Publication So- 
ciety; the Society for the Encouragement of Domestic 
Industry; the State Historical Society of Iowa; the Pro- 
prietors of the "Heraldic Journal"; the Proprietors of 
the " Savannah Republican " ; John Appleton, M.D. ; 
Surgeon-General Joseph K. Barnes ; J. M. Clark, Esq. ; 
Mr. A. dishing ; Mr. E. H. Goss ; B. A. Gould, Esq. ; 
George Punchard, Esq. ; Lion. A. H. Rice ; Dr. J. M. 
Toner ; Daniel Treadwell, Esq. ; W. A. Whitehead, 
Esq. ; Hon. Henry Wilson ; Mrs. J. E. Worcester ; Pro- 
fessor S. J. Young ; and from Messrs. Amory, Deane, 
Green, Lawrence, Webb, and Winthrop, of the Society. 

Dr. Robbins, the Corresponding Secretary, reported a 
letter of acceptance from James Parton, Esq., of New 
York, who had been elected a Corresponding Member 
at the last meeting. 

Mr. Deane communicated a letter from Mr. Ticknor, 
relating to a few letters found among the papers left by 
the late Miss Belknap. They were intended for the 
Society, if Mr. Deane should decide that they were 
worthy of preservation. Mr. Deane stated that the pack- 
age received contained letters of the elder Buckminster, 


John Eliot, Governor Gore, and others ; and, on his 
motion, the thanks of the Society were presented to Mr. 
Ticknor for this acceptable gift.* 

Mr. Deane read a letter from Mr. Whitmore, regret- 
ting his inability to be present at the meeting, as he had 
contemplated reading a paper on the " Early Engravers 
of New England." At Mr. Whitmore's request, Mr. 
Deane communicated this paper to the meeting ; and, 
on his motion, it was referred to the Committee on the 
Publication of the Proceedings. 



It has been commonly supposed, that the earliest portraits 
painted in New England, except possibly a few executed by 
amateurs, were those by Smibert. We propose to show that 
there was at least one earlier resident painter, and to call 
attention to his proficiency in the kindred art of engraving. 

It is probably safe to assume, that, prior to 1723, no en- 
graver capable of executing a portrait on copper or steel had 
visited New England. In that year appeared a " Life of the 
Rev. Increase Mather," by his son, Cotton Mather, which, 
though printed by B. Green for R. Belknap in Boston, has 
prefixed a very poor portrait, the work of John Sturt, an 
English engraver, who died in London in 1730. 

Nothing but the lack of a competent artist here could have 
caused the publisher to send abroad for this portrait. 


Soon after this date, however, an educated artist of very 

* Many of these letters are worthy of publication, but are reserved for a future 
volume of Collections from the "Belknap Papers." — Eds. 


considerable ability did take up bis residence bere. This 
was Peter Pelham, of whom we know only tbat be bad been 
resident in London, and there, by his wife Martha, bad chil- 
dren, baptized at St. Paul's, Covent Garden: viz., Peter, 17th 
December, 1721 ; and Charles, 9th December, 1722. 

Two letters from his sister, Helen Pelham, fortunately pre- 
served, show that their father was living in 1748, but was 
dead in 1763, and that he lived to be over eighty years of 
age ; and it would seem probable, that he was Peter Pelham, 
an English engraver, born about 1684. Of him Dr. Spooner 
(" Biographical History of the Fine Arts ") writes that he 
engraved a number of portraits, and had a son, J. C. Pelham, 
born in 1721, who painted historical pieces and portraits, but 
achieved no reputation. This connection is, however, purely 

The earliest work we have yet traced to Pelham is his en-, 
graved portrait of the Eev. Cotton Mather, dated 1727. It 
is inscribed, " P. Pelham ad vivum pinxit, ab origine fecit et 
excud." This is a distinct claim to his execution of a painted 
portrait ; and in the Library of the American Antiquarian 
Society at Worcester, Mass., among the other family portraits 
of the Mathers, is an oil painting which corresponds with the 
engraving. Not only are the accessories the same, but the 
portrait is reversed in the engraving, as if the artist copied 
it upon the copper as it stood before him. We may surely 
accept this as Pelham's original, as there is no other claimant. 
The picture has been repaired and rebacked within a few 
years, thus preventing any chance of finding an inscription 

* By the kindness of Mr. Dearie, my attention has been called to the following 
receipt among the Belknap Papers: — 

iSosstort March the 19th 1727-8. 
Received of the Revd Mr. Benjn Coleman the Sum of 3 shillings being the first Payment of the 
Subscription for a Print in Metzoo : of the late Rev. Dr. (Cotton Plainer, by which the Bearer is 
Entitled to the said Print Paying 2 shillings at the Delivery of the same, By me Peter Pelham. 

Tho Italics are in writing. 


In 1731, Pelham published a portrait inscribed, "Rev. John 
Moorhead, Minister of a Church of Presbyterian Strangers at 
Boston in New-England. Transit hora sine mora: sic transit 
Gloria Mundi. Pi-aster Deum Optabile nihil est. P. Pelham 
pinxit et fecit.' 7 The same inscription, " pinxit et fecit," is 
on an undated portrait of Mather Byles. With these confir- 
mations of the Mather portrait, we may be sure that Pelham 
was a painter. 

Yet he did not engrave his own pictures solely : two 
other painters, we know, were associated with him. In or 
about 1734, he engraved Smibert's portrait of the Rev. Ben- 
jamin Colman, of which the Rev. E. Turell (" Life of Colman," 
Boston, 1747, p. 231) writes : — 

"His picture drawn in the year 1734 by the greatest Master our 
Country has seen, Mr. John Smibert, shows both his Face and Air 
to Perfection : And a very considerable Resemblance is given us in 
the Metsotinto done from it by Mr. P. Pelham, which is in many of 
our Houses." 

Most critics to-day would be apt to consider Pelham's 
engravings as superior to Smibert's paintings. 

In 1743 the portrait of the Rev. William Cooper, and 
probably soon after, that of the Rev. Joseph Sewall, both 
painted by Smibert, were engraved by Pelham. 

In 1750, a portrait of the Rev. Thomas Prince was en- 
graved by Pelham, from a painting by Greenwood. 

We have thus the names of Smibert and Greenwood as 
resident artists. Of these, John Smibert, a Scotchman, born 
at Edinburgh in 1684, had studied in Italy before 1728, 
when he was induced by Bishop Berkeley to share his for- 
tunes in America. With the failure of Berkeley's scheme 
we have nothing to do at present ; but it was the means of 
bringing Smibert to Boston, where he married and had chil- 

Greenwood was undoubtedly a citizen of Boston, and of 


both these artists we shall have more to say after completing 
our notice of the Pelhams. 

To revert to Peter Pelham. We are obliged to glean 
from the journals of the day the few items which help us to 
gain a few details of his life. We have already shown that 
he came here probably between 1724-26; that in 1727 he 
engraved Cotton Mather's portrait, and in 1731 John Moor- 
head's, as well as that of Benjamin Colman in 1733-34. 

In 1734, we find that he had already commenced a school, 
in which, by later advertisements, we find he taught not only 
writing and reading, but dancing, painting, and needlework. 
The department of needlework may have been confided to his 

The advertisement in the " Boston Gazette " for April 5th, 
1734, reads, — 

" At Mr Pelham's House near the Town Dock is to be sold sundry 
sorts of Household Goods (for Cash) very Cheap, he having Intention 
to break up House-keeping. 

" 'N. B. Attendance will be given from Eight till Twelve o'clock 
every morning, but not after that Hour on account of his preparing 
for his School in the Afternoon, which he continues to keep as hereto- 

The next announcement, from the " Boston Gazette" for 
Feb. 6th, 1738, reads thus : — 

"Mr Peter Pelham gives notice to all Gentlemen and Ladies in 
Town and Country, That at the House of Philip Dumerisque Esq, 
in Summer street (next his own Dwelling house) Young Gentlemen 
and Ladies may be Taught Dancing, Writing, Reading, painting upon 
Glass, and all sorts of needle work." 

In 1743 Pelham issued an engraving of the portrait of the 
Rev. William Cooper, inscribed " J. Smibert pinxit, P. Pelham 
fecit 1743. Printed for and Sold by Stephen Whitney at 
y e Rose and Crown in L T nion Street, Boston." 


The next item, also in reference to an engraving, is from 
the " Boston Evening Post" for July 27th, 1747: — 

"A curious Print of His Excellency, William Shirley, Esq, done 
in mezzotinto, by Mr Peter Pelhara, to be sold by him at his school, in 
Queen Street — at Mr Stephen Whitney's, at the Rose & Crown, 
in Union street, — and at Mr. James Buck's near the Brazen Head, in 

On the 22nd of May, 1748, Pelham was married at Trinity 
Church to Mrs. Mary Singleton, widow of Richard Copley^ of 
Boston, and of course received into his family her son John 
Singleton Copley, afterwards so distinguished as an artist. 
To this period belong the two following advertisements. The 
first from the " Boston News Letter " for July 11, 1748 : — 

" Mrs Mary Pelham, (formerly the widow Copley on Long Wharf, 
tobacconist) is removed to Lindel's Row, against the Quaker Meeting 
House, near the upper end of King Street, Boston, where she con- 
tinues to sell the best Virginia Tobacco, Cut, Pigtail, and Spun, of all 
sorts, by Wholesale and Retail, at the cheapest rates." 

The second is from the " Boston Gazette " for Septem- 
ber 20th, 1748: — 

"Mr. Pelham's Writing and Arithmetick School near the Town 
House, (during the Winter) will be open from Candle Light till nine 
in the Evening, as usual, for the benefit of those employed in Business 
all the Day — ; and at his Dwelling House near the Quaker's meeting 
in Lindall's Row, all persons may be supply'd with the best Virginia 
Tobacco, cut, spun into very best Pigtail and all other sorts ; also Snuff 
at the cheapest Rates." 

A sprightly antiquary of this city, some two years ago, 
founded quite a lively article upon the Copleys, on a mistaken 
view of these advertisements. It seems perfectly clear, that 
Mrs. Mary Pelham, finding her husband's means not abundant, 
preferred to add her contribution to the common fund by 
keeping up her tobacco-shop. It seems as clear that her 
husband pursued his path of engraving and teaching: we 



shall presently show to which pursuit the step-son, Copley, 
was directed. 

During the ensuing three years, Pelham seems to have 
been most fully employed as an artist; and here we may 
properly insert, in its chronological order, the following let- 
ter written by his sister in England : — 

Oct. 3. 1748 

My dear Brother, — I begin writing to you without knowing 
whether it will ever come to your hands or not, but I am determined 
to write, and hope you will get some of my letters if not all. This is 
the third time I have wrote since February ; in my last I told you 
that my father was very well, and so he is now, thank God Almighty 
for it. I am in the country, but hear frequently from my dear 
father. We have been out of town ever since the second of May. I 
long to have a letter from you to know how you and all your family 
does. In your last you were so good as to tell my father how your 
sons was disposed of. I hope Peter is happily married. As Charles 
is brought up a merchant I natter myself that some time or an other 
he will come to England. O my dear soul how glad I shall be to see 
him ; if please God I should be alive then. I shall here send you a 
direction how to write to me, which I did in my two last letters, 
but till I hear from you I am not sure you got them. I hope you will 
never fail to write when any ships come to London, for it is the great- 
est pleasure in the world to my dear father and me to hear of your 
welfare. I am sure my letters must be very stupid to my dear brother, 
as I have nothing entertaining to tell you, for as you know none of my 
acquaintance, nor I any of yours, must make my letters very stupid ; 
for after I have inquired how you, your wife, and the dear children are, 
and tell you my father and self are well, I have nothing more to say. 
As for news I can never write of that you have in a better manner 
than what I can express it. So will conclude with my best wishes and 
love to your self and to your wife, and to all your family and hope 
you will believe me to be, 

Your ever loving sister Helen Pelham 

I send this to town to my 

father & get him to send it 

to the New England Coffee house. 

Direct for me at the Hon ble Mrs. Conways 

in Green St, near Grosvenor Square 

To Mr Peter Pelham, S r . 

at Boston in New England. 


We again quote from the " Boston News Letter " for June 
7th, 1750: — 

" To be sold by James Buck at the Spectacles in Queen St. An 
accurate Print in Metzotinto of the Rev Thomas Prince, A. M. Like- 
wise all Sorts of Maps & Prints, among which is a Set of Prints com- 
pletely coloured, proper for viewing in Camera} Obscursev' 

To this period of his life we may assign the portrait of 
the Rev. Joseph Sevvall, " J Smibert pinxit, P. Pelham fecit,' 7 
and possibly that of Mather Byles already noticed. There is 
also a portrait of the " Rev. Edward Holyoke Prses. Harvard 
1749," which is in Pelham's style, though not signed by him. 

The last item we have found is in the " Boston News 
Letter" for September 17th, 1751, and reads as follows: — 

" To be sold by P. Pelham, at his house near the Quakers Meeting- 
House, a print in Metzotintu of Thomas Hollis, late of London, 
merchant, a most generous Benefactor to Harvard College in New- 
England, having founded two Professorships and ten Scholarships in 
said College, given a fine Apparatus to Experimental Philosophy, 
and increased the Library with a large Number of valuable books 
&c. &c. done from a curious whole length Picture by Joseph High- 
more in London, and placed in the College Hall in Cambridge. Also 
sundry other Prints at said Pelham's." 

The records of Trinity Church in Boston, where Pelham 
had long worshipped, show that he was buried December 
14th, 1751. We have searched in vain for any obituary 
notice of him from any of the clergymen whose appearance 
he has preserved for posterity. Brief as this sketch is, we 
now know more of him, perhaps, than of most of his con- 
temporaries ; and, if we can restore him to his rank as the 
founder of the arts of painting and engraving in New Eng- 
land, our time has been well employed. 

It is probable that Pelham left very little property, since 
no inventory was returned by his widow. The year following 
she published this notice in the " Boston Gazette " for Aug. 
18th, 1752: — 


"All persons indebted to the estate of Mr Peter Pelham, late 
of Boston, deceased, are hereby requested to pay the same to Mary 
Pelham, widow, Administratrix to said estate ; and those to whom the 
Estate is indebted are desired to apply to the said Administratrix in 
order for a settlement." 

For nearly forty years Mrs. Pelham continued to reside in 
Bostori, and without doubt her declining years were cheered 
by the success of her son, Copley, whose talent as a painter 
had brought him fame and competence. 

Her son by Pelham, viz., Henry Pelham, born 14th Febru- 
ary, 1748-9, was also an artist, like his half-brother. He 
certainly painted and engraved a picture on " The Finding of 
Moses/ 7 and, by a brief account of him in the London " Notes 
and Queries," First Series, vol. iv. p. 306, it seems he pub- 
lished other engravings. He was a good civil engineer, and 
was agent in Ireland for the Marquis of Lansdowne. He was 
accidentally drowned in the river Kenmare, 1806. His face, 
however, has been preserved in the famous picture of the 
M Boy and Squirrel," which was Copley's first great success. 
As is well known, this noted picture, since the death of Lord 
Lyndhurst, has been reclaimed, and added to the art-treasures 
of our city. 

The death of Mrs. Pelham, widow of our artist, called 
forth the following notice in the " Boston Gazette " for May 
4th, 1789: — 

" Died, on Wednesday last, Mrs Mary Pelham, widow of Mr Peter 
Pelham, late of this town, and mother of Mr. Copley. Her funeral 
will be attended this afternoon, at four o'clock, from her dwelling 
house, at New Boston, when and where, her, Mr Copley's and the 
family's friends and acquaintances are requested to grace the proces- 

Her will makes her " good friend, Charles Pelham of New- 
ton," her executor; and to him and to his daughter (her 
god-daughter), Harriet* Pelham, various bequests are made. 



The last and most famous member of Pelham's family 
was his step-sou, John Singleton Copley, born in 1738, the 
son of Richard Copley, who died in 1748. 

It is not our province here to examine the life or recount 
the triumphs of Copley as a painter. It is enough for us to 
claim him as an engraver on the evidence of an engraved 
portrait of the " Rev. William Welsteed of Boston in New- 
England, M. 58, 1753, J. S. Copley pinxit et fecit. Printed 
for and sold by Stephen Whiting at y e Rose and Crown in 
Union St." 

This first step in his artistic life bears so plainly the 
mark of Pelham's style, that we may be sure it was to his 
step-father that Copley owed much valuable rudimentary in- 
struction. It is true he afterwards deplored his lack of 
proper teaching; but this may well refer to that higher train- 
ing which he sought and obtained abroad. Only four years 
afterwards, in 1757, he painted those grand portraits of the 
Tracys of Newburyport, which in his old age he regarded 
as nearly his best productions in that style. So far as his 
initiation in the art, and very possibly the awakening of his 
taste, is concerned, we may surely claim Pelham as Copley's 

We will close this account of the Pelhams, by relating a 
few particulars in reference to the descendants of Peter Pel- 
ham and his first wife. 

His son, Peter, jun., had married here in 1746; but, in or 
about 1749, he removed to Virginia, where his family increased 
to thirteen children. We have seen quite an extended pedi- 
gree, tracing many branches now scattered through the South 
and the West. One descendant was William, Surveyor-gen 
eral of Arkansas, and probably another was the artillery 
officer who has gained some notoriety among the Rebels, in 


William Pelham, the youngest son, was born in Boston, 
and undoubtedly was buried from Trinity Church, 28th Janu- 
ary, 1760-61. 

Charles Pelham, the other son by the first wife, was 
educated as a merchant ; but the following advertisement in 
the " Boston News Letter" of April 23d, 1762, probably re- 
fers to some period when he had been unsuccessful : — 

" Charles Pelham hereby informs all the Gentlemen and Ladies in 
Town and Country that he proposes again to open a Dancing School 
on Monday the third day of May next, at Concert Hall, where he will 
give constant Attendance as usual, every Monday, Thursday and Sat- 
urday in the Afternoon, provided he may meet with suitable encour- 
agement. He therefore begs leave to desire that those who intend 
to favour him therein, would be so good as to apply to him (at Mrs 
Pelham's, next door to Thomas Lechmere Esq, at New Boston) any 
Time before the said Third of May." 

To this period belongs the following letter addressed to 
him by his aunt : — 

Chichester Feby 15^ 1762. 

My dear Nephew, — The third of this month brought me the 
comfort & pleasure of a letter from you dated Nov. 2. 1761. Indeed 
I was rejoiced to see one, for I have been vastly uneasy as I have 
never heard from you since Oct. 27, 1759 & I have written you three 
letters since that. My dear I have never heard from you since that 
dreadful fire happened at Boston, therefore judge of my uneasiness. 
But, thank God, I have now heard that you are well, as for your 
brother Peter, I have not heard from him this age — poor William 
you mentioned him to me & said he was but of a poor constitu- 
tion, and till then I did not know that there was any children of 
your mother's, but Peter & you ; or if I did I had forgot it. So your 
brother has five children, poor man I pity him. You have never seen 
Capt Parker I suppose since you told me of him, I know him perfectly 

Now Charles as to my picture, how can you think I would sit for it. 
Your grandfather sat for his at 80, 'tis true, but there never was so 
handsome, so charming a man at that age as he was — it was with 
much ado that I got him to have it done. I told him I would not be 
without it for any thing in the world, nor indeed no more I would, and 


as there was a tolerable good painter upon the place, I insisted on it — 
but as to miniature there is not one nearer than London, & it would 
cost above half a year's income to have it done, were I even there, 
and most likely I shall never go there again, for tho' my dear father 
was older than I, yet in constitution I was always older than him. So 
desire never to hear any more on that subject, for I shall never come 
into it. 

I am much obliged to Mr Parsons who sent me your letter directly, 
and I send this to him and beg the favour of him to send it. I desire 
you will send yours to him when you write, which I hope will not be 
long before I shall be made so happy. Now I must tell the dates 
of my letters which I wrote — Yours of Oct 27, I reed Jany 2. 60 — 
&I answered that Apr 18 — I wrote again Aug 15, & in Mch 13 
61 — so you see how often I have wrote to you — 3 letters for one. I 
hope this will come safe, for indeed my dear, writing is not the agreea- 
blest thing in the world, unless I could write as well as you do — but 
my writing and spelling is so bad that I can take no pleasure in it — 
but it is the only way that any one can have the pleasure of conversing 
with their friends & I hope so near & dear as you are to me that you 
will be good enough to make allowances for an old woman. 

I saw in the papers you had a fine burial at Boston — poor General 
Whitmore, some of his troops are^bere. I think it was a sad accident 
he met with My dear child I caniibt possibly make my letter agreea- 
ble to you by telling you all the chit-chat, as you know not a soul 
here, so will conclude with assuring you how much I am 
Your affectionate aunt & humble servant 

Helen Pelham. 

P. S. — My dear nephew. I do not remember any thing about 
your ever having the small pox, but think it most likely you never had 
it, by your brother having so lately got it — so hope you will always 
avoid it, as you say you have done. I cannot tell what to say in 
regard to your coming to England, as it is not in my power to give 
you the assistance I could wish, therefore must say you are right in 
staying in a place where you are known & settled — & dont doubt 
but God will give a blessing to your honest endeavours, & shall think 
myself happy in hearing from you & of your welfare, — which I hope 
you will be so good as to gratify me in as often as "you can. 

He soon retrieved his position, if indeed, in the opinion 
of the' time, he had ever lost it; and, removing to Medford, 


where he was schoolmaster, married there 6th December, 
1766, Mary, daughter of Andrew Tyler by his wife Miriam, 
a sister of the famous Sir William Pepperell. He is named in 
1779, by Colonel Royal, in a letter from England, as " Charles 
Pelham, Esq., who used to do business for me." 

Prior to his marriage, he had bought, in April, 1765, the 
homestead of the Rev. John Cotton, in Newton, with one hun- 
dred and three acres of land, for <£735. Jackson says of him, 
" He was represented by his neighbours to have been a very 
polite and intelligent man. Opened an academy at his own 
house, and fitted scholars for College." — "He was a staunch 
friend of the Colony, as will appear by the resolutions he 
prepared for the Town." 

His daughter, Helen, married Thomas Curtis, and was 
the mother of our late distinguished citizen, Charles Pelham 
Curtis. We may add, that the portrait of Charles Pelham, 
painted by Copley, is still preserved. 


Of John Smibert, whom we have mentioned as an early 
artist, we will present two facts which are probably not 
extant in print. First, he married Mary Williams, at Bos- 
ton, 30th July, 1730, and had children, — Alison, b. 14th May, 
1731; William, 29th January, 1732; John, 24th November, 
1733 ; Nathaniel, 20th January, 1734. Secondly, the inven- 
tory of his estate which contains some interesting items. It 
reads as follows : — 

Inventory of the Estate of Mr. John Smibert, late of Boston, Painter, taken by us the 
subscribers, in February, 1752. 

The easterly half of the House & land in Queen St. 

Fourteen acres of land in Roxbury 

A House lott of Land in the Westerly part of Boston 

Plate, 109 oz & 15 p*. 

Silver watch & seal & 2 rings 

Wearing apparel 12 . 12, Library 11 .. 18 .. 5 

Fire arras & silver hilted sword 

£466 . 

. 13 . 

. 4 

186 . 

. 13 . 



36 . 

. 6 . 

. 4 


. 2 

. 8 


. 10 . 

. 5 

3 . 

. 17. 

. 4 


. 1 . 

. 9 




25 . 

. 19 . 

. 8 

4 . 

. 5 . 

. 8 

16 . 

. 8 . 


1 . 

. 11 


17 . 

. 6 . 

• 8 

28 . 

. 8 . 


5 . 

. 15 . 

. 8 

21 . 

. 6 . 

. 8 




. 12 

11 . 

. 10 


3 . 

. 17 . 



10 . 

. 8 

18 . 

. 13 . 

. 4 

19 . 

. 12 . 

. 1 

13 . 

. 19 . 


2 . 

. 12 . 

. 9 

3 . 

. 13 . 


50 . 

18 . 

. 8 

1 . 

. 16. 


£ 1387 ..4.9 


Colours & oyls 307 .. 16 .. 5, 35 portraits 60 .. 5 . 4 

41 History pieces & pictures iu that taste 

13 Landskips 2 .. 13 2 Conversation Pictures 23 .. 6 .. 8 

Bustoes & figures in Paris plaister & models 

Prints & books of prints 11 .. 12 .. 8 Drawings 4 . 16 1 

Pillows, prospect glass & magnifying glass, foyles & flutes 

An eight day clock 9 .. 6 .. 8 Desk & book case 8 

Escrutore 2. Table Linnen 9 .. 18 .. 8 Sheeting do 16 .. 9 .. 11 

two pieces of brown linnen 

4 feather beds Bolsters & pillows Bedsteads & Curtains 

3 do do do 

12 pr of blankets & 3 rugs 

two silk quilts & a coverlid 4 . 13 .. 4 five looking glasses 6 .. 17 

China & Earthen ware 

three chests of drawers & 1 table 5 .. 13 4 Easy chairs & couch 1 .. 17 

three dozen & 10 chairs 12 .. 3 .. 4 Ten tables 4 .. 6. 5 carpets 2 .. 4 

Pewter 8 .. 9 .. 2 Iron & tin ware 11 .. 2 .. 11 

Brass & copper ware 

Bell metal skillits 49 12 01 

Gross of glass bottles 1 .. 12 Lumber in the garrett 2.1.4 

Negro girl Phillis 26 .. 13 .. 4 Horse chaise & runners 24 .. 5 .. 4 

Cloaths press, chest, boxes, brushes, baskets, bellows &c 

David Cutter 

Joseph Gale 

John Greenwood. 
Mary Smibert ) , n 
John Moffatt ) 
22 Sept. 1752. [Suff. Wills, vol. 46, p. 277.] 

We have not space to attempt an enumeration of his pic- 
tures, nor can we easily account for his undue popularity. 
Perhaps the association with Berkeley aided him socially, or 
he may have owed something to his marriage. At all events, 
though but an inferior painter, his tastes must have led him 
to a close acquaintance with his fellow-artist, Pelham. Some 
indication of this may be found in the tradition, that John 
Singleton Copley, Pelham's step-son, was a student with 
Smibert. To be sure, Copley was only thirteen when his 
presumed instructor died ; but it is very probable that he 
was the recipient of some attention, if not information. 
Smibert seems to have been highly estimated by the public 
of his day, and numerous portraits remain bearing the stamp 
of his painstaking, but utterly commonplace, brush. 



His son, Nathaniel Smibert, is said to have shown much 
promise as an artist, but he died at the age of twenty-one. 


Of the other associate of Pelham, John Greenwood, we 
know much less. I am indebted to Isaac J. Greenwood, of 
New York, for the information that he was probably the son 
of Samuel Greenwood, of Boston, ship-builder and merchant, 
by his second wife, Mary Charnock, and was baptized at the 
Old South Church, 10th December, 1727. If this be the per- 
son, he married, 17th December, 1769, Frances Stevens; left 
this country before the Revolution, went probably to India, 
but eventually settled in London as an auctioneer, and died 
at Margate in 1792. 

In confirmation of this theory, it will be noticed that John 
Greenwood was one of the appraisers on the estate of 
John Smibert, and is the only one whom we can suppose 
to have been competent to value the paintings composing a 
part of it. 

The fourth name to be placed on the list of painters here, 
is that of Richard Jennys, jun., whose portrait, in metzotint, 
of the Rev. Jonathan Mayhew, of Boston, is inscribed " pinxit 
et fecit." It was published by Nath. Hurd, and, though un- 
dated, must have been issued before 1768. 

Lastly, we have to place on our list the name of Black- 
burn, of whom at present no particulars can be given, so 
completely has his memory been forgotten, although as an 
artist he was second only to Copley. 


We have now to consider a class, more properly denom- 
inated artisans, than artists, — men who were rarely employed 


on copper or steel plate, but who wrought at goldsmith's 
work, or engraved cards and similar small pieces. 

First among these we place Nathaniel Hurd, born at Bos- 
ton, 13th of February, 1730. He was the son of Jacob Hurd? 
goldsmith, and Elizabeth Mason, his wife. The pedigree is 
traced through Jacob, a joiner of Charlestown, to Jacob of 
Boston, a son of John, who was a settler here in 1639. 

As Nathaniel Hurd was, perhaps, the most accomplished 
engraver from 1750 to 1777, the following particulars may be 

In a memoir of him, published in the " New-England Maga- 
zine " (Boston, 1832), Mr. Buckingham writes: — 

"In seal-cutting and die-engraving, Mr. Hard was considered supe- 
rior to any in the colonies. Coats-of-arms, pictures, and carvings were 
not much valued and sought after, a century ago, in New England. 
They approximated too near to graven images, in the view of our 
puritanical forefathers, to meet with much encouragement. Portrait- 
painting, however, met with considerable countenance. They deemed 
it a mark of family affection, and individual respect and esteem ; so 
that, from the time of Mr. Smybert, who came over to this country 
with Dean Berkeley, down to the period when Copley flourished as our 
first portrait painter, there were very few families, in easy circum- 
stances, who had not a picture by the hand of that very eminent 
American painter ; but, as to engravings on copper-plate by an Ameri- 
can, there was hardly such a thing to be seen in New England." 

Of Hurd he adds 

" He was probably the first person who undertook to engrave on 
copper in the United States. We have seen a miniature likeness of 
the Rev. Dr. Sewall, minister of the Old South Church in Boston, en- 
graved by Hurd, in the linear style, in 1764. In this art he was his 
own instructor." 

We have seen that this writer was mistaken about Hurd's 
position as the earliest engraver, as this honor belongs to 
Pelham. We think it very probable that he was a pupil 
of Pelham's, since there was an acquaintance between the 


families, evidenced by the portrait of Hurd, painted by- 

In truth, we doubt if Hurd ever made any other portrait 
than that mentioned. His skill lay chiefly in executing small 
plates, of which many specimens remain. The taste of the 
day for coats-of-arms led many people into the fashion of 
having book-plates made. Those which we have seen are 
very neatly designed and well executed, the details of the 
ornamentation being very delicate. Another example re- 
mains in a plate for invitation cards of Thomas Bernard 
and Edward Oxnard, for the Commencement at Harvard, in 
1767. The demand for such articles as cards and bill-heads 
probably sufficed to keep one artist well occupied ; but, as an 
additional employment, he used to engrave or chase silver- 
plate.* The growing wealth of New England found expres- 
sion then in the use of massive plate; and one of the most 
common advertisements in the journals of the day was of sil- 
ver lost or stolen. Often it is described as stamped "Hurd." 
The father and brother of the engraver were goldsmiths 
here. A salver yet owned by E. C. Moseley, Esq., has the 
stamp " Hurd," and on the face is engraved a fine represen- 
tation of the Oliver arms. 

We have Mr. Buckingham for our authority in saying that 
Hurd also published one or more caricatures, as that of the 
pillorying of a certain Dr. Seth Hudson, who, in 1762, was 
convicted of counterfeiting the Province notes. 

Hurd probably never married. His brother, Benjamin 
Hurd, was a goldsmith, as was also his brother-in-law, Daniel 
Henchman, a son of the Rev. Nathaniel Henchman. 

* We insert the following advertisement from the " Boston Gazette," 28th April, 
1760: — 

"Nathaniel Hurd Informs his Customers he has remov'd his Shop from Maccarty's Corner 
on the Exchange, to the back Part of the opposite Brick Building, where Mr Ezekiel Price kept 
his Office, where he continues to do all Sorts of Goldsmith's Work ; likewise engraves in Gold, 
Silver, Copper, Brass, and Steel, in the neatest Manner and at a reasonable Rate." 


In his will Nathaniel Hurd mentions his sister Sarah, who 
married Thomas Walley, and was the ancestress of Wendell 
Phillips, Esq., and of the Hon. Samuel H. Walley, of Boston. 
He also mentions his sister Anne, the wife of John Furnass ; 
and to her son, John Mason Furnass, he bequeathed his tools, 
owing to the genius which Furnass discovered for the profes- 
sion of engraving. 


Out of courtesy to the sex, we will next insert from the 
"Boston Gazette" for May, 1748, the advertisement which 
follows : — 

" Drawing, Japanning and Painting on Glass taught by 
Mrs Sarah Morehead at the Head of the Rope Walks, near 
Fort Hill." And proceed to two other engravers, whose 
works mainly contributed to arouse the devotion of our an- 
cestors. These were Thomas Johnson and Robert Turner, 
both of whom furnished plates of music to accompany the 
Versions of the Psalms in use a century ago. 

When the first plates appeared is, perhaps, now forgotten : 
but the following title shows something of the matter: — 

" An Introduction to the Singing of Psalm-Tunes. In a plain and 
easy Method with a collection of Tunes in three Parts. By the 
Reverend Mr Tufts. The Eleventh Edition. Printed from Copper- 
Plates, Neatly Engraven. Boston, N.E. Printed for Samuel Ger- 
rish, 1741." 

In this there are ten pages of music ; but, instead of notes, 
the letters F, S, L, M, are used. 

Eight years after this, however, we find the following vol- 
ume issued : — 

" A New Version of the Psalms of David ; Fitted to the Tunes 
used in the Churches : with several Hymns out of the Old and New 
Testament. By John Barnard, Pastor of a Church in Marblehead. 


Boston: N.E. Printed by J. Draper for T. Leverett in Cornhill 

At the end are sixteen pages of music, the notes being 
angular or diamond-shaped instead of round. " Engraved, 
Printed & Sold by James Turner near the Town House, Bos- 
ton, 1752." 

That Turner sometimes practised other parts of his pro- 
fession, is witnessed by two examples. In the first place, we 
have a copy of the book-plate of John Franklin, brother of 
Benjamin, which is quite neatly designed. For a photograph 
of this, I am indebted to William Duane, Esq., of Philadel- 
phia, and it has been published in the " Heraldic Journal " 
(vol. ii. p. 97). 

Secondly, there is among the Curwin papers, at Salem, a 
bill dated Marblehead, Sept. 2, 1752, and rendered to the 
executors of William Lynde, containing these items : — 

To 8 escutcheons for y e Funeral of y e Dec d at 8| ap s . . . £6 
„ an Inscription on y e Breastplate of the Coffin .... .. 8 
„ 9 enamell rings for do w* 13 dvvt. 23 gr. ^ 
„ fashioning ditto at 9|4 ap s j 
„ adding a Crescent for difference to each of the Escutch- 
eons at 2| ap 8 11 

£11.. 16 

Here ends our present knowledge of this Essex worthy, 
though we have searched the files for some notice of his 

Of our townsman, Thomas Johnson, we know a little more. 
He was born here in 1708, and died 8 May, 1767, aged 59, as 
his tombstone in the King's-Chapel yard shows. 

In 1760 there appeared — probably a companion to Bar- 
nard's version and Turner's notes, and adapted to conserva- 
tive minds — the following volume : — 

"A New Version of the Psalms of David: Fitted to the Tunes 
used in the Churches. By N. Brady, D.D. Chaplain in Ordinary, 


and N. Tate, Esq ; Poet-Laureat to His Majesty. Boston ; New 
England : Re-printed by D. and J. Kneeland, in Queen-street, for T. 
Leverett, in Cornliill. 1760." 

Annexed are 16 pages of music, "Engraved, Printed & 
sold by Thomas Johnston, Brattle Street, Boston, 1755." 

It may be added, that these sets of notes were detached 
from the text, and could be sold and used with any version, 
or separately. 

In 1760 we also find the following announcement in the 
"Boston Gazette," under date of April 28, 1760 :— 

" An exact Chart of Canada River (from the Island of Anticosta, 
as far up as Quebec) the Islands, Rocks, Shoals and Soundings, as 
they appear at Low Water (taken from the French), to be Sold by 
the Printers hereof, and by Thomas Johnston in Brattle Street." 

Johnston had also practised as a herald painter; for we 
have seen a tricking of the Lynde arms, dated in 1740, and 
signed by him, which shows that he was quite proficient in 
water-color painting. 

In his inventory, wherein he is termed a " japanner," we 
find the following items : — 

" 10 small pictures 30s; glass arms, 4s; 2 pictures 62s ; Dr. May- 
hew and Mr Gee's picture 36s; 6 pictures 9s; large piece of painting 
24s ; 4 pictures 2s ; Book of Heraldry 48s ; sundry pictures £2 .. 16 .. 4 ; 
3 paint stones and brushes, 15 copper plates, 40s; easel, burnishers, &c 
— one organ unfinished &c." 

By his nuncupative will, he left to his wife, Bathsheba, 
" all my psalm-tune plates, together with the press." 

It seems highly probable that he also engraved a little por- 
trait of Increase Mather, of which a copy is in the library of 
the Massachusetts Historical Society. 

On the whole, with his known engravings and his easel left 
behind him, Johnston may claim to be admitted to the frater- 
nity of the early New-England artists. 

Lastly among our Colonial or Provincial engravers we may 
name Paul Revere. He was born, says Buckingham, in Bos- 


ton, in December, 1734, his father being a goldsmith here, 
and his grandfather, being a refugee from France, living in 

Revere first practised his art as an engraver of silver 
plate ; but afterwards he tried his hand on copper-plate.* 
Buckingham records a portrait of the Rev. Dr. Mayhew as 
one of his earliest efforts. A warm patriot, he devoted much 
time to political caricatures and engravings connected with 
our early struggles with the Crown. 

"In 1775, he engraved the plates, made the press, and printed the 
bills of the paper money, ordered by the Provincial Congress of Mas- 
sachusetts, then in session at Watertown." 

Of the events of his public and private life we need make 
no farther mention, as they are sufficiently well known. 

We may conclude our account with Buckingham's citation 
from the manuscripts of Samuel Davis of Plymouth, in regard 
to the succeeding engravers. He names " Vent, Brigdon, 
Webb, Edwards, Pierpont, Burt, Bowyer, Parker, Belknap, 
Emery, Holmes, Tyler, Woodward, Frothingham, and Codner." 
We may add Callender, who acquired and destroyed Pelham's 
plates, as we were assured by the late Rev. William Jenks, of 

A circular letter from William A. Whitehead, Cor- 
responding Secretary of the New-Jersey Historical So- 
ciety, was read, inviting this Society to send delegates 
to the New-Jersey Society's meeting, on Thursday, the 

* Curiously enough, Revere also tried his hand at a set of notes for the Psalms, as 
appears by the following in the "Boston Gazette," 4 Feb. 1765: — 

" Just Published and to be Sold by Josiah Flagg and Paul Revere in Fish Street at the North 
End of Boston — A Collection of the best Psalm-Tunes in two, three and four Parts, from the 
most celebrated Authors ; fitted to all Measures and approved of by the best Masters in Boston, 
New-England. To which are added, Some Hymns and Anthems ; the greater Part of them never 
before Printed in America. 

Set in score by Josiah Flagg. 

Engraved by Paul Revere." 


17th of May, at which it is intended to celebrate the 
two-hundredth anniversary of the settlement of Newark. 

This communication was referred to the Standing 
Committee, to ascertain if it would be agreeable to any 
of the members to be present on the occasion referred 

Dr. Ellis spoke of the volume of Proceedings which 
the Society had directed to be prepared from its early 
records. As one of the Committee, he had examined 
these records ; and though he believed our predeces- 
sors were, in their labors, equally faithful with the 
present members, yet he found that the records were 
exceedingly meagre ; and it would be necessary, in 
order to properly illustrate the early history of the 
Society, to seek for information from other sources. 
Many memoirs of deceased members were yet to be 
written. It remained a question with him whether he 
should prepare memoirs of these members from such 
sources as were open to him, to be included in the 
volume, or adopt some other method. Information or 
assistance from any member who could offer it, was 

On an inquiry from Mr. Sibley, whether one volume 
would embrace all the Proceedings of the Society, from 
its commencement to the time at which the first printed 
volume of Proceedings begins, Dr. Ellis stated, that it 
would depend upon the amount of material that could 
be collected beyond the Records, whether one volume 
or more would be requisite. 

Professor Torrey referred to a paper printed in the 
second volume of the fourth series of our Collections, 



being a "letter from certain ministers and others of 
New England to Cromwell, upon his application to per- 
sons here [in New England] to settle in Ireland ; " and 
he read from Pendergast's " Cromwellian Settlement of 
Ireland " a passage (founded on unpublished manu- 
scripts), from which it appears that a few persons did 
emigrate from New England, and were admitted as ten- 
ants of a portion of the confiscated Irish lands. Sev- 
eral families went over in 1656, and were settled near 
Garristown, about fifteen miles north of Dublin. In 
1655, two islands near Sligo had been set apart for 
the use of expected immigrants from New England ; 
but whether they were ever settled in this way, does 
not appear. 

The Corresponding Secretary called attention to a 
printed broadside, which he had noticed in his Cabinet, 
containing the yeas and nays on General Conway's 
motion in the House of Commons, 27th February, 1782, 
in favor of terminating the war with the American 
Colonies. The sheet was sent to the Society by the 
Hon. Thomas Beekman, of Peterboro', Madison Coun- 
ty, N.Y., formerly a member of Congress from that 
State, through the Hon. Edward Everett, whose letter, 
dated 23d March, 1834, accompanied the document. 
The following is a copy : — 

In the House of Commons on Wednesday 27 th February, 1782, 
The Right Honourable General Conway moved a Resolution, on 
which an Address to His Majesty was presented on Friday 1st of 
March, purporting, 

" That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty, most hum- 
bly to represent to His Majesty, that the further Prosecution of offen- 
sive War on the Continent of North America, for the Purpose of 




reducing the revolted Colonies to Obedience by Force, will be the Means 
of weakening the Efforts of this Country against the European Enemies, 
tends, under the present Circumstances, dangerously to increase the mutual 
Enmity so fatal to the Interests both of Great-Britain and America, and, 
by preventing an happy Reconciliation with that Country, to frustrate the 
earnest Desire graciously expressed by His Majesty to restore the Bless- 
ings of Public Tranquillity." 

On which, after a long Debate, the House divided, 


Earl of Upper Ossory County 

Hon. St. And. St. John Ditto 
Sir Wm. Wake Bedford 


W. H. Hartley 
John Elwes 
Francis Annesley 
R. A. Neville 
John Aubrey 
Chaloner Arcedeckne 
Hon. J. Montagu 









Earl Verney County 

Hon. Thomas Grenville Ditto 

James Grenville Buckingham 

Hon. Wm. Grenville Ditto 

Viscount Mahon Chipping Wycomb 

Gen. Smith Wendover 

J. M. Smith Ditto 

Wm. Drake Amersham 

W. Drake, jun. Ditto 


Hon. P. Yorke County 

Hon John Townshend University 

Benjamin Keene Cambridge 

J. W. Adeane Ditto 


S. R. Cotton 
J. Crewe 
R. W. Bootle 





Sir Wm. Lemon. Bart 

Ed. Eliot 

Samuel Salt 

Hon. W. Tollemache 

George Hunt 

Sir John Kamsden, Bart. 

Thomas Lucas 

Edward J. Eliot 

Dudley Long 








St. Germain's 



Henry Fletcher 
Earl of Surrey 
William Lowther 
John Lowther 
J. B. Garforth 






Rt.Hon.Ld.Geo. Cavendish County 
Edward Coke Derby 


John Parker 

John Rolle 

Viscount Howe 

A. Holdsworth 

Hump. Minchin 

R. Palk 

Sir George Yonge, Bart. 

J. Wilkinson 

Hon. Richard Fitzpatrick 

Sir Fred. Rogers 

J. Baring 













Hump. Sturt Coupty 

Thomas Scott Bridport 

Richard Beckford Ditto 

Henry Bankes Corfe Castle 

H. W. Mortimer Shaftesbury 

W. Morton Pitt Poole 

John Tempest Durham C. 

General Lambton Ditto 


John Luther County 

Sir Robert Smith, Bart. Colchester 

Ch. Potter Ditto. 

Sir Wm. Guise, Bart. County 

Sir Wm. Codrington, Bart. Tewkesbury- 
James Martin Ditto 
Charles Barrow Gloucester 
John Webb Ditto 




Herefordsli ire. 
Sir George Cornewall, Bt. County 
John Scudamore Hereford 

R. P. Knight Leominster 


William Plomer 
Baron Dimsdale 
William Baker 
John Radcliffe 
Wm. C. Sloper 




St. Alban's 


Earl of Ludlow County 


Hon. Charles Masham County 

Eilmer Honywood Ditto 

Robert Gregory Rochester 

Sir Horace Mann Maidstone 

Clement Taylor Ditto 

Charles Robinson Canterbury 

George Gipps Ditto 

Thomas Stanley County 

Wilson Braddyll 
General Burgoyne 
Hon. H, Walpole 
Thomas Lister 
John Parker 







William Pochin 
Hon. Booth Grey 


Charles And. Pelham County 

Sir John Thorold, Bart. Ditto 
George Sutton Grantham 

John Harrison Grimsby 

Sir Thomas Clarges, Bart. Lincoln 


John Wilkes 
Hon. Charles J 
Fred. Bull 
John Sawbridge 
Nath. Newnham 







Sir Watkin Lewes, Knt. Ditto 


John Hanbury 
John Morgan 



Sir Edward Astley, Bart. County 

T. W. Coke Ditto 

Sir Harbord Harbord Norwich 

Hon. R. Walpole Yarmouth 

Richard Hopkins Thetford 

C. Molyneux Lynn 

Thomas Powys County 

Lucy Knight'ley Ditto 

Richard Benyon 
James Phipps 
Viscount Althorpe 
Frederic Montague 


Higham Ferrers 

Sir Wm. Middleton, Bart. County 
Sir M. W. Eidley, Bart. Newcastle 

Charles Meadows County 

Robert Smith Nottingham 

Rt. Hon. Lord G. Sutton Newark 

Rt. Hon. Ld. Robert Spencer Oxford C. 
Hon. P. Bertie Ditto 

Noel Hill County 

Richard Hill Ditto 

Sir Charleton Leighton, Bt. Shrewsbury 
Thomas Whitmore Bridgenorth 

Admiral Pigot Ditto 


Sir J. Trevelyan 
Hon. J. J. Pratt 
Clement Tudway 
Robert Child 
R. Pennington 
F. F. Luttrel 





IMilborne Port 



Jer. C. Jervoise County 

Robert Thistlethwayte Ditto " 

J. Fuller Southampton 

Edward Morant Yarmouth 

Sir J. G. Griffin Andover 

B. Lethulier Ditto 

Viscount Middleton Whitchurch 
Right Hon. T. Townshend Ditto 


Sir J. Wrottesley 
Hon. E. Monckton 
R. B. Sheridan 
George Anson 
T. Gilbert 







Sir Charles Bunbury, Bart. County 

Sir John Rous, Bart. Ditto 

Thomas Staunton Ipswich 

SirGerrard Van Neck.Bart. Dunwich 

Sir Charles Davers, Bart. Bury St. Edmunds 

Rt. Hon. General Conway Ditto 

Sir Joseph Mawbey, Bart. County 
Hon. A. Keppel Ditto 

Edward Norton Haslemere 

W. S. Stanhope Ditto 

Sir Robert Clayton, Bart. Blechingley 
Rt.Hon.Sir Fletcher Norton Guildford 
Sir Richard Hotham Southwark 

N. Polhill Ditto 




Et.Hon.Ld. George Lennox County 

Hon. T. Pelham 


Hon. Major Stanhope 


Sir H. Goug-h Bart. 


Sir Th. G. Skipwith, Bart. 


J. Peachey 


Thomas Kemp 


Thomas Steele 


P. W. Baker 


Sir Geo. Shuckburgh, Bt. County 
Sir Robert Lawley, Bart. Ditto 
Sir Robert Ladbroke Warwick 

James Lowther County 

General Honevwood Appleby 

Hon. Wm. Pitt Ditto 


Ch. Penruddock 

William Hussey 

Hon. Wm. Bouverie 

Henry Dawkins 

John Dunning 

Rt. Hon. Isaac Barre 

Thomas Pitt 

W. A. Court 

Samuel Esttvick 

J. W Gardiner 

Rt. Hon. Lord Herbert 







Old Sarum 






Hon. Edward Foley 
Wm. Lygon 
Sir John Rushout 
C. W. B. Rous 
Hon. Andrew Foley 
Edward Winnington 
T. Bates Rous 





Droit wich 



Henry Duncombe County 

Sir Geo. Savile, Bart. Ditto 

Sir James Pennyman, Bt. Beverley 

Evelyn Anderson 
Viscount Duncannon 
James Hare 
William Weddell 
Edmund Burke 
Henry Pierse 
William Nedham 
Hon. George Fitzwilliam 
Marquis of Graham 
William Lawrence 
Earl Tyrconnel 
Sir Thomas Gascoigne, Bt. 
Beilby 1 hompson 
Lord John Cavendish 
Charles Turner 
William Wilberforce 

















Cinque Ports. 

John Trevannion 
J. Nesbit 


Yiscount Bulkeley 
Sir George Warren 
Ch. Morgan 
J. Vaughan 
J. Parrv 

Sir W/W. Wynne, Bart. 
Richard Middieton 
Sir R. Mostyn 
Watkin Williams 
W. Mostyn Owen 
Ch. Edwin 
E. L. Yaughan 




Brecon shire 










Dundass Edinburghshire 


J. H. Blair 
Sir Gilb. Eliot 
J. S. Stuart 
Earl of Fife 

George Byng 
Vise Maitland 


Tellers .... 
Total Majority 




S. Whitbread 

John Mavor 
P. P. Powney 

Ant. Bacon 

Thomas Ord 
Robert Waller 








James Mansfield 

Tho. Grosvenor 




Hon. George Percival Launceston 

Thomas Bowlby Ditto 

Vise Maiden Lestwithiel 

H. Rosewarne Truro 

Wm. Masterman 





Rt. Hon. Ch. Jenkinson 
Sir Grey Cooper 
John Buller 
William Graves 
Sir Fr. Basset 





Penryn — Made a 

Baronet the other day, on account of his 
tin and copper, which he supplies Govern- 
ment with, by contract, 
J. Rogers Ditto 

J. Macpherson Camelford 

J. Pardoe Ditto 

William Praed St. Ives 

Abel Smith Ditto 

Lord Shuldham Fowey 

P. Rashleigh Ditto 

Lord Hyde Helston 

Francis Hale Saint Michael's — 

Nephew to the Pay-Master General. 
John Morshead Callington 

George Stratton Ditto 

Sir Wm. James Westloo 

John Buller Ditto 

John Stephenson Tregony 

John Dawes Ditto 

Hon. Nat. Curzon County — Son of 

Lord Scarsdale, chairman of committees 
in the H. of Lords. 


Charles Boone Ashburton 

A dm. Darby Ditto 

Viscount Fielding Beeralston — Son 

of Ld. Denbigh, Master of the King's 
Hounds, Lord of the Bedchamber, and 
just made Major of Dragoons. 

Lawrence Cox Ditto 

Sir R. Payne Plympton 

Hon. J. Stuart Ditto — Son of the 

E. of Bute. 

L. Browne Totness — Son of 

his Majesty's Gardener. 

J. Cleveland Barnstable 

Fr. Basset Ditto 

Right Hon. Richard Rigby Tavistock 


William Ewer 
Hon. Henry Fane 
D. R. Mitchell 
Rt. Hon. Welbore Ellis 
Gab. Stewart 





Ditto — Disposes 

of places in this borough to himself and 
friends, thro' the interest of his father 
Tucker, worth many thousands a year. 
Wm. R. Rumbold Ditto 

John Boyd Wareham 

Joseph Gulston Poole 

John Bond Corse Castle 

Sir Francis Sykes Shaftesbury 

Sir Thomas Clavering County 

T. B. Bramston County 

Hon. G. A.. North Harwich 

Samuel Blackwell Cirencester ) Brought 

James Whitshead Ditto J ^ h J 

Lord Bathurst, President of the Council. 


Hen. Penton Winchester 

Lovel Stanhope Ditto 

Sir Wm. Gordon Portsmouth 

Hon. J. St. John Newport 

Sir Richard Worsley Ditto 

Sir Thomas Rumbold Yarmouth 

E. M. Worsley Newton 

Wm. Jolliffe Petersfield 

T. S. Jolliffe Ditto 

Hans Sloane Southampton 

Ed. Gibbon Lymington 

Hon. John Luttrell Stockbridge 


Rt. Hon. T. Harley 

torum Generalissimo. 
Sir Richard Symons 
Vise. Bateman 
St. Leger Douglas 

County — Contrac- 




Vise. Hinchinbroke County 

Sir Hugh Palliser Huntingdon 

Lord Mulgrave Ditto 


Sir C Frederick Queensborough 

Sir Walter Rawlinson Ditto 

Geo. Finch Hatton Rochester 

Sir Tho. Egerton County — Col. of 

a Regiment worth 10001. a year, which 
his Manchester constituents raised for 
him, and bribed him with, to vote against 
the Liberties and Welfare of his Country. 
He is also a great catch-singer, and friend 
of the immaculate Earl of Sandwich. 
Sir H. Houghton Preston — Favours 

from the Blue Ribbon. Dr. Finch, a Pre- 
bendary of VVestm. 
Ab. Rawlinson Lancaster 

B. Gascoyne, jun. Liverpool 

Hen. Rawlinson Ditto 

T. Davenport Newton 


J. P. Hungerford 
J. Darker 



Robert Vyner Lincoln — Said he 

Avould not cry out against paying towards 
the support of the American war, till 
land was taxed 14s. in the pound; and 
yet was the very first complainant of his 
sufferings occasioned by that very war, 
viz. in the article of wool. His nephew 
just made Preb. of Canterb. 

Sir Geo. Howard Stamford 

Hen. Cecil Ditto 



H. Sibthorpe 
Francis Eyre 



Sir John Stepney 



Et. Hon. Ch. Townshend Yarmouth 
J. C Talbot Castle Rising 

Rob. Mackreth Ditto 

Xorthamptonsh ire. 
Geo. Rodney Northampton 

J. W. Efferton Brackley 

T. Caswell Ditto 


Anth. Storer 
Peter Delme 
Hon. John Yaughan 
Sir J. H. Delaval 


D. P. Coke Nottingham 

Wharton Amcots Retford 

Rt. Hon. Lord. Ch. Spencer County 
Yisc Parker Woodstock 

Rt. Hon. Lord North Banbury— The 

Noble Lord in the Blue Ribbon himself, 
"who assures the House daily, "he has 
gained nothing by his Place." 

Is being Chancellor of the Exchequer and 
Eirst Lord of the Treasury, nothing '? 
Are the Cinque Ports, nothing ? Are 
great Appointments for his Father, Wife, 
Brother. Sons, Brother-in-law, and Cous- 
ins to the third and fourth Generation, 
nothing ? Besides Dependents of all 
kinds, from Sir Grey Cooper to Mr. Bate. 

Are not the Noble Lord's Emoluments, be- 
sides his patronage, 50,0001. a year at 
least ? 

Is not the Earl of Guilford Treasurer of the 
Queen's Houshold? 

Is not Lady North Ranger of Bushy Park ? 

Is not Brother Brownlow, Prelate of the 
Garter and Winchester? 

Is not Son Geo. Sec. and Compt. of the Q 
Houshold, Sec. of the Exchequer, and 
has he not a Regiment of Government 
Yolunteers ? 

Is not Son Fred. Chamberlain of the Tally 

Is not Brother Willoughby in the King's 
Bedchamber ? 

Have not Cousin Bagots two Peerages in 
one vear. a Bishoprick, Deanerv, Collec- 
torship of Middlesex, of itself " 40001. a 
year? &c. &c &c. 

Has not Cousin Dartmouth the Privy Seal? 

Cousin Harleys, the Bedchamber, Deanery 
of Windsor, and THE LOANS ? 

Legge's, Uigby's, Burgoyne's innumerable 
Appointments of high "Rank and Profit, 

down to Whitshead Keene, and little 
Scarsdale, Chairman of Committees? 
After all, *' Is not the Noble Lord commend- 
able instead of culpable, for providing for 
his relations? " Beit so! Let him not 
however insult the Distresses of his 
Country by pretending, " that a large 
"Stock has not been fattened on the Public 
"Pasture: 1 

Sir William Dolben University 

Francis Page Ditto 


G. B. Brudenell 



Bishops Castle 

William Pulteney 
Rt. Hon. Lord Clive 
Fred. ConiAvall 
Wm. Clive 
Hen. Strachey 


John Townson Milborn Port — 

Salt-petre itself. For this business the 
Directors of the E. India Company meet 
on Friday, to pass judgment on his con- 

Hon. A. Poulett Bridgewater 

Mat. Brickdale Bristol 

Geo. Daubeny Ditto 

S. Smith Ditto 

A. Moysey Bath 

Yiscount Lewisham Count}- — Son of 

Ld. Dartmouth, Privy. Seal, and Coz. to 

the Premier. 
Arch. Macdonald Newcastle 

John Courtney Tamworth 

John £alvert Ditto 


Barne Barne Dunwich 

Sir James Marriot Sudbury 

Yiscount Beauchamp Orford 

Hon. Rob. Conway Ditto 

P. C. Crespigny Aldborough 

General Phillipson Eve 

A. J. Skelton Ditto 

George Onslow Guildford 

Rt. Hon. Lord Newhaven Gatton 
Robert Mayne Ditto 

John Kenrick Blechingley 

Thomas Fitzherbert Arundel 

Sir Cecil Bisshopp Shoreham 

Sir Sampson Gideon Ditto 

Henry Druinmond Midhurst — Con- 

tractor, and one of the Quadruple in the 
Sir J. Irwin East-Grinstead 

Herbert Ditto 

J. Wallace Horsham 

Sir George Osborne Ditto- ^ 





Hugh Owen 


Hon. Ch. Greville 


Thomas Johnes 


Lord Sheffield 

Coventry — Be- 

E. Lewis 

New Radnor 

sides the title, has the rank of Lieut Col. 

n- r> 

Commandant, with a 

Keg. of Dragoons, 


worth 12001. a year, 

tvhich his subaltern 

Sir Ch. Farnaby 


Officei-s, whose Heads he was put over, it 

Viscount Palmerston 


is said paid for raising 

John Ord 


Edward Roe Yeo 


Philip Stephens 


Sir Richard Sutton 



Sir Edward Deering 

New Romney 

Sir J. T. Long 


Richard Jackson 


Hen. Jones 


William Dickenson 


Lord Courtown 


Hon. Thomas Onslow 


F. Burton 


John Durand 


Viscount Fairford 

Malmsbury — Son 

Sir J. Henniker 


of the Earl of Hillsborough, Secretary of 

State, is said to give it as his opinion, that 


next to his Father, he looks upon Bamber 

Adam Drummond 

Aberdeen, &c. 

Gascoigne to be the greatest politician in. 

Sir Adam Fergusson 



Sir. J. Anstruther 

An strutherWeston 

J. Calvert 


Lord Fred. Campbell 


N. W. Wraxall 


J. Campbell 


Hon. Gen. St. John 

Wotton-B asset 

Sir Robert Laurie 


William Strahan 


Sir Robert Herries 

Dumfries, &c. 

George Selwvn 


Rt. Hon. Henrv Dundas 


Robert Shaftoe 


Rt. Hon. Lord W. Gordon 


Hon. H. S. Conway 


Robert Skene 


Sir Arch Edmonston 

Irvine, &c. 


Rt. Hon. Lord A. Gordon 


Rt. Hon. Lord Westcote 


George Graham 


Hon. W. Ward 


States L. Morris 





J. Henderson 


Ch. Mellish 


Andrew Stuart 


William Chaytor 

Under Heydon 

Francis Charteris 

Lauder, &c. 

Edwin Lascelles 


Sir W. Aug. Cunningham 


Ch. Atkinson 

Heydon The 

A. Murray 


celebrated Cornfactor. 

John Pringle 


Hon. J. Phipps 


Sir James Cockburn 

Selkirk, &c. 

Hon. Fred. Robinson 


William Adam 

Wigton, &c. 


Hon. Keith Stewart 


Charles Ross 

Wick, &c. 

Sir Ch. Gould 


Hon. J. Wemyss 


Earl of Lisburne 


John Campbell 


Ministry . . 215 

Glynn Wynn 


John Robinson ) rp -,, 
Mr. Adam J Tellers 


Lord Kensington 



Whitshed Keene 


Total Minority . . 217 


r TEES. 

(/) Ackland John 


Bertie Lord Robert 


Ambler Ch. 


Boscawen Hugh 

St. Maw's 

Bacon Ed. 


(/) Blake Sir P. 


Barwell Hich. 


(/) Bowes A. R. 


(/) Bamfylde Sir Ch. 


(/) Bridgman Sir H. 


(f) Barrington John 


(/) Bridgman H. S. 


Baynton And. 


Burrell Sir Merrick 


Benfield Paul 


Burrard H. 


(/) Beutinck Lord Ed. 


(/) Bullock John 





(/) Cavendish Lord G. H. 

Coghill Sir John 

Clavton Win. 

(/) Clerke Sir P. J. 

Clinton Sir Henry 

Coxe Sir Ch. 

(/) Coxe R. H. 

Crawford J. 

Cust F. C. 

Cust P. 

Darner Hon. Geo. 

(/) Dempster George 

Duntze Sir J. 

(/) Dundas Charles 

if) Dutton James 

D'Oyley Chr. 

Dalrymple H. 

Eden Sir John 

Eden Kt. Hon. William 

Elphinston Hon. G. K. 

Evelyn W. 

Eyre Ant. 

(f) Fairer T. 

if) Fleming Sir Michael 

if) Forrester George 

(/) Fludyer Sir Sam. 

Fonnereau M. 

Frederic John 

Gascoigne Bamber 

Garden Alex. 

{f) Galway Viscount 

(/) Goddard Ambrose 

Halliday John 

Hamilton Rt. Hon. W. G. 

(/) Halsey T. 

Hervey Eliab 

Hanger Hon. Wm. 

Harris Sir James 

Hudson Giles 

Johnston George 

(f) Keppel Hon. William 






Ryegate " 




















Aid borough 


Christ Church 









Christ Church 


St. Michaels 



Leigh T. P. 

Lincoln Earl of 

(/) Lowther Sir James 

Luttrell Hon. H. L. 

Luttrell H. F. 

Luttrell Hon. James 

Mackworth Sir Herbert 

(/) Manners Ld. Robert 

Manners Ld. Robert 

Macleod Lord 

Melburn Lord 

(/) Methuen P. 

Monro Sir Hector 

Monckton Hon. Gen. 

Murray Hon. J. 

(/) Noel Thomas 

Nugent Earl 

Owen Hugh 

(/) Pelham Hon. Hen. 

Percy Lord Alg. 

Pitt Hon. George 

Phillips George 

Purling John 

Roberts John 

Rodnev Sir George Brydges 

(/) Ross Gen. 

Scott H. 

Sinclair J. 

Strutt John 

(f) Scudamore Ch. Fitzroy 

Stuart Hon Charles 

Trentham Yisc. 

Vernon Kichard 

Warren Sir J. 

(f ) Walpole Hon. Thomas 

( /) Wenman Viscount 

(f) Wilkinson P. 

Wilmot John E. 

Wollaston William 

Woodley Wm. 

Yorke Hon. J. 













Inverness, &c. 




St. Michael's 




















Old Sarum 





Friends to their Country, and for Peace with America marked (/) — Absent .... 34 
Total Majority 236 


Besides several independent and very respectable Members who voted in the Minority on 
this occasion — such as Mr. Parker Coke. Mr. Rawlinson, Mr. Rashley, Mr. Whitbread, 
Mr. Darker, &c. &c. 

Ayes 236 

Noes 217 

Absentees 101 

Vacant Seats 3 

Speaker 1 

Total Number of the whole House 558 

N. B. The absent Gentlemen marked (/), with many others less 
known to the Publisher, are distinguished Friends of their Country; and if 
they had been present, it is supposed would have voted with the Majority 



on this Question, making in all upwards of Two Hundred and Seventy- 
Members, in Opposition to, and against the utmost Efforts of the Min- 
ister; who, besides Mr. Secretary Robinson's endearing Lures, cer- 
tainly exerted all his Abilities, Zeal, and Assurances on this Occasion. 
" How are the Mighty fallen ! " — It is worth observing also, there 
were, with the Minister, only Eleven against Sixty-Four County Mem- 
bers in England and Wales who voted for this Question. For the 

Addenda of Places, Pensions, Contracts, &c. see a small Pamphlet 
just published by J. Stockdale, entitled, " Substance of the Charges 
" of Mismanagement on the Naval Enquiry, &c." 

Attendance is only wanting, to complete the Downfal of an Admin- 
istration which every Day brings some fresh Calamity home to the 
Breast of every Man among us. — The single Question now is, Whe- 
ther the Premier and his Dependents shall retain their Places, to the 
final Ruin of the Empire ; or by a Change of Men ai/d Measures, we 
shall regain the Confidence of America, and retain our Properties and 

Printed for J. STOCKDALE, opposite Burlington-House, Piccadilly. [Price Two-pence, 
or Twelve Shillings a Hundred.] 

William V. Wells, Esq., of San Francisco, was elected 
a Corresponding Member. 


A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day, Thursday, June 14, at eleven o'clock, a.m. ; 
the President, the Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, in the 

The President announced to the Society, that the 
Recording Secretary, Charles Deane, Esq., sailed for 
Europe on the 6th instant, to be absent for several 


months, and that the Standing Committee had requested 
the Treasurer to perform the duties of Secretary until 
Mr. Deane should return ; whereupon it was unani- 
mously — 

Voted, That the Treasurer be requested to act as the 
Recording Secretary of the Society, during the absence 
of Mr. Deane. 

At the request of the President, the records of the 
May meeting were read by Dr. Robbins. 

The Librarian announced donations from the Ameri- 
can Academy of Arts and Sciences ; the American 
Numismatic and Archaeological Society; the Chamber 
of Commerce of the State of New York ; the Essex 
Institute ; the Long-Island Bible Society ; the Mercan- 
tile Library Association of New York; the New-Eng- 
land Loyal Publication Society; Oberlausitzische Gesell- 
schaft der Wissenschaften zu Gorlitz ; John Appleton, 
M.D. ; Francis H. Brown, M.D. ; Henry G. Denny, 
Esq. ; Frederic De Peyster, Esq. ; Clement H. Hill, Esq. ; 
Benjamin P. Johnson, Esq. ; Messrs. Leypoldt & Holt; 
Rev. Howard Malcom, D.D. ; Hon. Alexander H. Rice; 
William H. Russell, Esq. ; M. B. Scott, Esq. ; Philip 
H. Sears, Esq. ; Henry R. Stiles, M.D. ; J. Hammond 
Trumbull, Esq. ; Hon. Henry Wilson; Mrs. Joseph E. 
Worcester ; and from Messrs. Amory, Bartlet, Brigham, 
Deane, Green, Loring, Met calf, C. Robbins, Savage, 
Ticknor, Washburn, Webb, Wheatland, and Winthrop, 
of the Society. 

The President remarked, that our Recording Secre- 
tary, whose absence had just been alluded to, had left 
behind him new evidence of his devotion to our service, 


in a new volume of Proceedings, which is on our table 
this morning, and of which every member is entitled to 
a copy ; whereupon it was — 

Voted, That the thanks of the Society be presented 
to the Recording Secretary, Mr. Deane, and to his asso- 
ciates of the Publishing Committee, Messrs. Folsom and 
Green, for their faithful services in conducting this 
volume through the press. 

The President further stated, that Mr. Deane was 
accompanied by our associate, Dr. Peabody ; and it had 
been suggested, that we should unite them in a commis- 
sion to represent this Society on any fit occasion, and to 
negotiate any exchanges or purchases for us which they 
may think for our advantage. They expect to be pres- 
ent at the proposed Archaeological Congress at Ant- 
werp, at which they are already commissioned to repre- 
sent the American Antiquarian Society, and at which 
they might find it expedient to appear in behalf of this 
Society also. It was thereupon — 

Voted, That the Recording Secretary, Charles Deane, 
Esq., and the Rev. Andrew P. Peabody, D.D., be au- 
thorized and requested to represent this Society at the 
Archaeological Congress to be held at Antwerp in August 
next, or on any other fitting occasion that may occur 
during their absence abroad ; and that they be empow- 
ered and requested to negotiate for this Society any 
exchanges of publications with foreign societies, and to 
act for our interest in any way they shall find expedient 
during their absence. 

The President read the following note from our Cor- 
responding Member, S. Austin Allibone, LL.D. : — 


Philadelphia, May 30, 1866. 
My dear Sir, — I am happy to inform you, that the Dictionary 
which I projected in 1850, and commenced preparing for the press in 
1853 (August), was completed last night at 8.27. Laus Deo. 
I am, dear Sir, with great regard, faithfully yours, 

S. Austin Allibone. 

The President remarked, that he was sure that the 
information would be received with pleasure, that Dr. 
Allibone's most valuable " Dictionary of English Lit- 
erature " had thus been brought to a completion. The 
first volume had been found so important and inter- 
esting, that we were impatient for the second ; and he 
trusted the publishers would not hold it back from us 
many months. 

The President announced the death of our Honorary 
Member, General Winfield Scott, and^ spoke as fol- 
lows : — 

You can hardly have forgotten, Gentlemen, that, a few 
years since, the name of Winfield Scott was placed by accla- 
mation on our Honorary roll. It was the first time, I believe, 
that this Society had ever dispensed with the formalities of a 
ballot and the delay of a previous nomination. The veteran 
soldier had just then voluntarily withdrawn from the active 
duties of Commander-in-chief of the Army of the United 
States ; and a career of public service, which, for more than 
half a century, had been crowded with conspicuous acts of 
courage and patriotism, was at length brought to a close. 
That career is familiar to us all. Its brilliant opening scenes 
at Queenstown, at Fort George, at Chippewa, and at Lundy's 
Lane, — though but few are now left to recall the impression 
they produced upon the living heart, — can never be contem- 
plated on the page of history without a fresh thrill of admira- 
tion. Nor can any one withhold at least an equal tribute of 


admiration from those crowning exploits of his maturer mili- 
tary life, which resulted in the occupation of Mexico. 

Yet, signal as the services of General Scott have been as a 
soldier, his civil services and civil triumphs have been no less 
signal. Again and again he has been entrusted with diplo- 
matic functions of the most important and delicate character; 
and he has uniformly discharged them in a manner to com- 
mand the approbation of the Government and the applause of 
the whole people. Twice at least — once on the North-eastern 
boundary in 1839, and once on the North-west in 1859 — 
he has saved the peace of the country, when it was in the 
most imminent peril. Nor is it foreign war only which has 
been averted by his wise and efficient intervention. To him 
certainly, as much as to any other one man, it was owing, 
that the Nullification plot of 1832 was prevented from ripen- 
ing into outright rebellion, and that the great battle of the 
Union was postponed to a later generation. Meantime his 
prudence and his humanity had found still another field 
for their display, in the memorable removal of the Indian 
tribes beyond the Mississippi. 

No more eloquent or more enviable tribute has ever been 
won by a military chief, than that which was paid to General 
Scott, in this connection, by the late William Ellery Chan- 
ning : — ■ 

" To this distinguished man," said he, in a lecture on war, in 
1839, " belongs the rare honor of uniting, with military energy and 
daring, the spirit of a philanthropist. His exploits in the field, which 
placed him in the first rank of our soldiers, have been obscured by the 
purer and more lasting glory of a pacificator and a friend of mankind. 
In the whole history of the intercourse of civilized with barbarous or 
half-civilized communities, we doubt whether a brighter page can be 
found than that which records his agency in the removal of the Chero- 
kees. As far as the wrongs done to this race can be atoned for, 
General Scott has made the expiation. In his recent mission to the 
disturbed borders of our country, he has succeeded, not so much by 


policy as by the nobleness and generosity of his character, by moral 
influences, by the earnest conviction with which he has enforced on all 
with whom he has had to do, the obligations of patriotism, justice, 
humanity, an/d religion. It would not be easy to find among us a man 
who has won a purer fame ; and I am happy to offer this tribute, 
because I would do something, no matter how little, to hasten the time 
when the spirit of Christian humanity shall be accounted an essential 
attribute and the brightest ornament of a public man. 

" He returns to Washington," continued Dr. Channing, " and is 
immediately ordered to the Cherokee nation, to take charge of the very 
difficult and hazardous task, to his own fame, of removing those savages 
from their native land. Some of his best friends regretted, most sin- 
cerely, that he had been ordered on this service ; and, knowing the 
disposition of the world to cavil and complain without cause, had great 
apprehensions that he would lose a portion of the popularity he had 
acquired by his distinguished success on the Canadian frontier. But 
behold the manner in which this last work has been performed ! . 
There is so much of noble generosity of character about Scott, inde- 
pendent of his skill and bravery as a soldier, that his life has really 
been one of romantic beauty and interest." 

One can hardly read this exquisite eulogy, — coming, as 
it does, from the lips of one who would be everywhere ac- 
cepted as an umpire without appeal upon any question of 
humanity or philanthropy, — without recalling the lines which 
Addison, a century and a half before, hap! composed in honor 
of the great Duke of Marlborough, and which we all could 
wish had been as well deserved by him as by our own de- 
parted hero : — 

" Unbounded courage and compassion joined, 
Tempering each other in the victor's mind, 
Alternately proclaim him good and great, 
And make the hero and the man complete." 

The opening of the great civil war through which we 
have just passed found General Scott broken in health and 
strength, and weighed down by the infirmities of age. He 
was still, however, at the head of the American army ; 
and, though a Virginian by birth, and warmly attached to 


his Southern relatives and friends, he never faltered for an 
instant in his devoted loyalty to the Union. Nor can it ever 
be doubted or forgotten, that, through his prudence and 
patriotism, and his untiring vigilance and energy, the safety 
of the Capital was assured, and the inauguration of President 
Lincoln secured from interruption. 

Retiring from the active duties of commander-in-chief in 
October, 1861, General Scott has been by no means idle 
during the four years and a half which have since elapsed. 
Two volumes of Autobiography, which — though they exhibit 
not a few of the least attractive elements of his character, 
and could hardly be cited to prove, that, as Dryden says of 
another in his " Annus Mirabilis," he was " born, Csesar-like, 
to write and act great deeds " — are yet replete with interest- 
ing and instructive passages of national and of personal his- 
tory, have been composed and published by him during this 
period; while his counsel and experience have been constantly 
at the service of the Government, and have more than once 
been called for under most impressive circumstances. The 
personal visit of President Lincoln to West Point, to consult 
the retired commander-in-chief, at the most critical moment 
of the war, is still fresh in all our memories ; and no higher 
testimony could have been given of the exalted estimation in 
which he was held by those who were officially responsible 
for the preservation of the Union. 

General Scott was by no means free from the foibles which 
proverbially belong to the heroic temperament. His words 
were not always as wise and well-considered as his acts, nor 
his reasons as sound and sagacious as his conclusions. But, 
in a long life of varied and unintermitted service, he never 
failed to do the right thing at the right time, and to do it 
with a will and to a purpose. His noble form and command- 
ing presence will be remembered by all who have ever seen 
him ; and I cannot doubt that the verdict of posterity will 
confirm the judgment of the present hour, that, morally as 


well as physically, few grander figures have adorned the his- 
tory of our country. Had he lived until yesterday, he would 
have completed his eightieth year, having been born near 
Petersburg, Virginia, on the 13th of June, 1786. It was my 
good fortune to see him and converse with him at New York 
as lately as the 9th of May, the day before he embarked for 
West Point, to die amid the scenes which had been most dear 
to him in life, and which he most desired should be the last 
on which his eyes should look. And though the infirmities of 
age had bowed and bent that lion-like frame, and quenched 
something of the fire of that eagle eye, his heart was still 
full of patriotic wishes for his beloved country ; and his only 
impatience seemed to be, that he could render her no further 
service. I cannot forget, in this presence, the kind and 
eager inquiries he made then, and on many previous occa- 
sions, for the health of an esteemed fellow-soldier of his 
youth, whom we are proud to recognize as the first Vice- 
President of our own Society. Nor can I conclude this im- 
perfect tribute to his memory, without reading, as I am sure 
you will all pardon me for doing, the letter in which, some 
years previously, he had acknowledged the receipt of the 
volume of our Proceedings, which I had sent him, containing 
an account of his election as one of our Honorary Members, 
on the 14th of November, 1861 : — 

Elizabeth, N.J., April 22, 1862. 
My dear Friend, — But that I hold a pen with difficulty (from a 
hurt in the right hand), I should have made a formal acknowledgment 
of the honor conferred upon me by the Historical Society of Massa- 
chusetts, — a compliment the more pleasing, having been moved by 
one dear friend (R. C. W.), the President, seconded by another, my 
excellent brother soldier (Colonel A.), and unanimously adopted 
(though out of order) by the meeting. The record of the flattering 
transaction found in the recent volume of the Society, — " Proceed- 
ings from 1860-1862," — which you have just kindly sent to me, gives 
to the book a priceless value in the estimation of myself and children. 



Joining in all your patriotic wishes and prayers, I remain, ever 
truly yours, Winfield Scott. 

Hon. R. C. Winthrop, &c. &c. &c. 
Addressed (free) Winfield Scott, Lieutenant- General, fyc. 

To Hon. R. C. Winthrop, &c. &c. &c. 

The President then read the following Eesolution 
from the Standing Committee : — 

Resolved, That the death of Lieutenant- General Winfield Scott — 
whose name was inscribed on our Honorary roll by acclamation, on 
his retirement from active duty as Commander-in-chief of the Army 
of the United States in November, 1861 — calls for a renewed expres- 
sion of our respect and gratitude for a great historical career, which 
has been associated, for more than half a century, with the highest 
public services to our country both in war and in peace, and which 
presents an example of gallantry and patriotism and Christian human- 
ity worthy of being cherished and commemorated by all who have 
witnessed it, and of being commended to the admiration and imitation 
of future generations. 

Colonel Aspinwall then spoke as follows : — 

Mr. President, — With the most anxious desire to do Honor 
to the memory of our deceased associate, Winfield Scott, I 
feel entirely incompetent, at the present moment, to do just- 
ice to his great merits. Each incident of his eventful and 
conspicuous career has so often been the theme and the at- 
traction of the day, that little now remains to be said which 
is not already familiar to the world, both as regards his his- 
tory and his character. 

At the time, fifty-four years ago, when my acquaintance 
and the life-long friendship with which he honored me be- 
gan, he was Lieutenant-Colonel of the Second Regiment of 
the United-States Artillery, and I was Major of the Ninth 
Infantry. Except in the descent of the St. Lawrence, in the 
autumn of 1813, we never served together; but it was my 
good fortune to see much of him at times, and especially in 


winter quarters during the war, and in many places, after the 
war, both at home and in Europe. 

The whole tenor and circumstances of his military services 
in the war of 1812 were of course well known to myself, as 
to all his brother-officers. His enterprise and love of adven- 
ture, his energy and intrepidity, wore displayed on various 
occasions : of which I will only mention the attack of the 8th 
of October, 1812, on the British vessels in the Niagara; the 
night surprise of Fort Matilda, on the St. Lawrence, on the 
7th of November, 1813; and his well-concerted attack, four 
days after, of Colonel Dennis's post, near Cornwall, which 
ended in the defeat and utter dispersion of the enemy. 

Apart from his gallant deeds, one of his early services, 
and at the time perhaps the most important that could be 
rendered to the nation, was his assiduous and thorough 
instruction of the troops in discipline, exercise, and field 
movements. It was owing to this preparation that he was 
able afterwards, at Lundy's Lane and Chippewa, to put an end 
to the dream of British invincibility on land, in "which our 
adversaries had before indulged, and to convince them that 
our soldiers were, as they at length confessed, as good as 
their own. 

Up to the termination of the war, Scott's ardent love of 
victory never allowed him to dwell on the blood and life it 
cost. But, at a later period, a change came over him, that 
made him shrink from all unnecessary sacrifice or even expo- 
sure of his men. His personal attendance on his sick soldiers 
during the Black-Hawk expedition was but a natural conse- 
quence of this philanthropic change. 

In January, 1836, a few weeks after the surprise and mas- 
sacre of Major Dade's party, Scott was ordered to Florida. 
Delays occurred in furnishing him with men and military 
supplies. His plan of joint action, by an advance from all 
points upon the Creeks, with the moral"certainty of surround- 
ing and capturing the whole hostile force, was defeated by a 


premature and unauthorized attack by General Jessup, his 
second in command, which had no other effect than to dis- 
perse them for the moment. General Jessup also wrote to 
the editor of the official newspaper at Washington, blaming 
Scott for dilatoriness and want of energy. Scott was conse- 
quently recalled by the President and replaced by Jessup, 
virtually because he had not, in less than thirty days of mili- 
tary operations, put an end to a war which a series of his 
successors in command failed to accomplish in the following 
six years. One of the most irrefragable proofs of the extreme 
impolicy as well as injustice of condemning, unheard, a mili- 
tary commander serving in a distant field, is furnished by the 
fact, that Scott's second in command, who had supplanted 
him, retracted his injurious aspersions ; and the court of 
inquiry, called to decide upon the merits of the case, unani- 
mously approved of Scott's " plans, as well devised, as prose- 
cuted with energy, steadiness, and ability, and well calculated 
to lead to successful results." 

It was one of the characteristic qualities of Scott, that, 
whatever task might be assigned him, however difficult, em- 
barrassing, or foreign to the ordinary course of military duty, 
he promptly applied himself to it, cheerfully and vigorously ; 
and whatever he undertook he accomplished with signal abil- 
ity. It is quite sufficient here to recall to mind the complete 
success that attended his five-months' arduous and difficult 
superintendence and conduct of the compulsory removal of 
fifteen thousand Cherokees to their destined abode in the 
West, and the skilful measures he adopted to preserve peace, 
both at the period of the Canadian rebellion, and, subsequent- 
ly, when the Aroostook disturbances had brought the country 
to the verge of war. 

It was said at the time, that " his exploits in the field . . . 
were obscured by the purer and more lasting glory of a paci- 
ficator and of a friend of mankind. In the whole history of 
the intercourse of civilized with barbarous or half-civilized 


communities, we doubt," said the eminent philanthropist and 
divine, the Rev. Dr. Charming, u whether a brighter page 
can be found than that which records his agency in the re- 
moval of the Cherokees." The remark of the same dis- 
tinguished person respecting Scott's first " mission to the 
disturbed borders of our country," is equally true of his sub- 
sequent mission of a kindred nature. " He succeeded, not 
so much by policy, as by the nobleness and generosity of his 
character, by moral influences, by the earnest conviction 
with which he enforced on all with whom he had to do, the 
obligations of patriotism, justice, humanity, and religion." 

General Scott's management of the war in Mexico was at 
the time applauded, as eminently sagacious, bold, and skilful, 
by the ablest generals in Europe. They considered it one of 
the military miracles of the age, that, with an inconsiderable 
force, in the face of superior numbers protected by numerous 
fortifications, road batteries, &c, and not less so in most posi- 
tions by the difficult nature of the country itself, that he 
should succeed in forcing his way by a single road from the 
coast to the capital of Mexico. 

His plan of landing his troops with the purpose of invest- 
ing Yera Cruz, instead of making a direct attack upon the 
fortress of San Juan, which forms the seaward defence of that 
city, is a proof of his prudence and foresight, as well as of 
his patriotic and humane desire to avoid all unnecessary 
sacrifices of his men. Had he taken both city and fortress 
by storm, with the loss of three or four thousand soldiers, or, 
in the camp phrase, " taken the bull by the horns, and 
brought in a large butcher's bill," the million would no 
doubt have hailed the achievement with more rapturous ap- 
plause. But, furnished as he was with only half the troops 
he had asked for, his very success would have deprived him 
of the means of advancing upon the capital. He would have 
been obliged to await re-enforcements, while his diminished 
force would have been wasting away in the sickly season in 


the tierra caliente. The wisdom of his determination was 
shown by the result. In twenty days from the landing of the 
troops, with a loss of only sixty men and officers, he became 
master of the city of Yera Cruz, doubly important as a com- 
mercial emporium and as a military depot and base of opera- 
tions, and of the castle of San Juan, with four hundred pieces 
of ordnance and five thousand prisoners of war. 

Throughout the Mexican war, Scott was sparingly furnished 
with troops. The Secretary of War, having refused those 
offered by the governors of States, and being reluctant to 
countenance a change of policy, suffered a bill for raising ten 
additional regiments to linger on its way through Congress, 
much to the detriment of the public service. Scott was 
crippled in his movements. For nearly four months, he was 
stopped at Puebla for want of men ; and, when re-enforcements 
came, they were inadequate. The onward march could not 
be resumed without calling in the garrisons in the rear, and 
abandoning all established communications with Yera Cruz. 
Even when at last master of the capital, he could not extend 
his conquest further, because he had only troops sufficient for 
the maintenance of his actual position. It ought to be known 
and remembered, that the Duke of Wellington, when he 
learned that the communication with the coast was abandoned, 
exclaimed, " Scott is lost ! " 

Among the causes which led to the culpable improvidence 
of the Administration, was the unfortunate prepossession that 
prevailed in the Cabinet at Washington, and among its in- 
fluential advisers, in favor of an advance on the capital from 
the Rio Grande, by way of Monterey and San Luis Potosi, — 
a route totally impracticable, where a small army would have 
been overwhelmed, and a large one would perish. To favor 
this visionary project, numbers indispensable to Scott and for 
the subjugation of Mexico were diverted to swell the com- 
mand of his junior, General Taylor, where, its true position 
being that of defence, they were superfluous and useless. It 


was at one time proposed to send twenty-five thousand men 
to Taylor and only fifteen thousand to Scott, to enable him, as 
was said, " to run up the road from Yera Cruz to the city of 
Mexico. 1 ' Even after the unwise project of the advance from 
the Kio Grande was abandoned, the authorities at Washington 
did not see fit to remedy the evil ; for Taylor, when occupy- 
ing a defensive line, with no formidable force opposed to him, 
had more men than Scott at Puebla when surrounded by a 
Mexican army three times larger than his own. 

Of the inimical motives which led to this injustice, and of 
the attempt to supersede and to dishonor him, either by placing 
him under a junior officer or by the new appointment of a 
superior ; of his final recall, with the contumelious reversal 
of his arrest of insubordinate officers, and the threat of a 
court-martial, — I shall say, that, to use his own words, " his 
services, with a most gallant army, were requited as he had 
long been led to expect they would be ; " that thB threatened 
court-martial came to nothing ; and that Congress voted him 
their thanks and a gold medal as a testimony of their high 
sense of his valor, skill, and judicious conduct in the memo- 
rable campaign of 1847. 

In the Presidential canvass of 1860, while secession was 
only threatened, but not generally expected, Scott, with a 
political sagacity equal to his military skill, foresaw the com- 
ing peril, and labored hard to provide in time against it. The 
two last months of 1860 were passed by him in anxious and 
earnest endeavors to obtain Executive authority for immedi- 
ately re-enforcing the occupied forts on the Southern coast, 
and for placing proper garrisons in such as were unoccupied. 
It is one of the most signal misfortunes that have ever be- 
fallen our country, that this wise counsel was not instantly 
followed. But President Buchanan could neither give his 
confidence to the patriotic veteran whom he had, in previous 
years, decried as a political foe, nor withdraw it from his com- 
paratively ignoble associate, the Secretary of War, whose 


treachery he had yet to learn. In exultation that the efforts 
of Scott had been defeated by the machinations of Floyd, 
the rebels subsequently did Scott more justice than he re- 
ceived at the hands of the President. They acknowledged 
that " the plan invented by General Scott to stop secession 
was, like all campaigns devised by him, very able in its 
details, and nearly certain of general success ; " and that, 
"had Scott been able to get these forts in the condition he 
desired them to be, the Southern Confederacy would not then 

The incoming Administration was, for some weeks, as 
supine and inert as the preceding. The President, Lincoln, 
could not be persuaded of the magnitude nor of the immi- 
nence of the approaching danger. Scott's counsels were 
unheeded. Sherman's earnest asseverations, that the South 
was bent on secession and war, were treated as the ravings 
of insanity. The truth and value of these slighted warnings 
were verified by the attack on Fort Sumter on the 12th of 
April, 1861. 

As early as the 3d of March, Scott had recommended, that, 
whenever secession was to be put down by force, an army of 
three hundred thousand at least should be brought into and 
kept up in the field. But, unfortunately, Congress had not 
been called together ; and only seventy thousand militia 
were called into temporary service. In blind impatience, the 
available portion of this levy was hurried into conflict at Bull 
Run with a rebel force, which, if not more numerous and 
better disciplined, was very ably commanded, and had the 
advantage of being posted in a strong country and a position 
of its own selection. The result, as had been apprehended 
by military men, was unfortunate. An attempt to shift off 
the responsibility, for this injudicious movement, upon Gen- 
eral Scott, was indignantly repelled by him. 

This was the sad prelude to that sinister interference with 
military operations in the field, afterwards systematically 


carried on by politicians and civilians ignorant of the art of 
war, but occupying posts of Federal or State authority, which 
shed its baueful influence on the fortune of our arms ; and 
which, especially throughout the year 1862, impeded and 
embarrassed the operations of the Army of the Potomac, as 
effectually as if the head of the War Department had been 
pledged to second the efforts of the rebels and to compass 
the defeat of our own army, as well as the disgrace and 
displacement of its accomplished, patriotic, and able com- 

We need only refer to the vain attempts to attack Rich- 
mond by a direct overland advance, in defiant contempt of all 
military rules and of the opinions of the best strategists of 
our army. Pope, Burnside, and Hooker were successively 
ordered to carry out this impracticable project ; and each at- 
tempt effected nothing but an appalling waste of human blood 
and life. Grant, in obeying the orders of the Administration, 
yielded his own preference for the coast route ; but at last, 
after a loss, of which the lowest estimate is sixty thousand 
killed and wounded, finding Richmond as far from his grasp 
as on the first day of his march, he was constrained to aban- 
don the abortive plan of the Administration, and to follow the 
rational plan and the footsteps of his discarded predecessor, 
who would probably have finished the war two years before, 
with the saving of hundreds of thousands killed and wound- 
ed, if he had been honestly afforded " the confidence and 
cordial support " which President Lincoln, in his message of 
the 3d of December, 1861, had promised him, and "without 
which," as the President rightly said, -"he could not with 
so full efficiency serve the country." In this message the 
opinion of General Scott is mentioned as having been re- 
peatedly expressed in favor of his successor in the post of 

The resolution was unanimously adopted. 



The President announced the death of Bishop Bur- 
gess, of Maine, a Corresponding Member of the Society, 
in the following language : — 

We may not forget, Gentlemen, that, while the name of a 
great soldier has been taken from our Honorary roll since 
our last meeting,. the name of an eminent and excellent prel- 
ate has been taken from the list of our Corresponding Mem- 
bers. I refer to the Right Rev. George Burgess, Bishop of 
Maine. Though I had but a slight personal acquaintance 
with him, I am not unaware of the exalted estimation in 
which he was held by the diocese over which he presided, 
and by the whole community in which he lived. As the 
author of several historical works, and as the Vice-President 
of the Historical Society of Maine, he is entitled to our most 
respectful notice ; and I am glad to know that one of our num- 
ber is prepared to do justice to his memory on this occasion. 

Mr. Bartlet then paid a feeling tribute to the ex- 
alted character of Bishop Burgess, and concluded by 
offering the following resolution : — 

Resolved, That in the death of Bishop Burgess the department of 
historical research has lost an intelligent friend and successful stu- 
dent ; American literature, one of its ornaments ; morals and religion, 
a devoted teacher and bright example ; and the country, a citizen, who, 
in his past efforts and sacrifices in her behalf, gave the assurance that 
the peculiar advantages he enjoyed would be faithfully employed for her 
highest good. 

The resolution was unanimously adopted. 

The President communicated a miniature of Daniel 
Webster, presented to the Society by Mrs. Isaac P. 
Davis. The original was painted by R. M. Staigg, 
at Washington, in 1 844 ; and, two years afterwards, he 
made this copy, which belonged to our late Cabinet- 
keeper, Isaac P. Davis, Esq. The President remarked 


that this was an exceedingly valuable addition to our 
Cabinet ; for it was one of the last miniatures executed 
by this distinguished artist, and one of his best efforts. 

The President also communicated two daguerrotype 
miniatures, one of General Washington, and one of 
Mrs. Washington, presented by Mrs. Davis, with the 
original of the following memorandum: "The daguer- 
rotypes of General and Mrs. Washington, executed by 
John Srubb of Alexandria, are from original pictures 
at Arlington House, by Sharpless, in 1796, and by Rob- 
inson in 1790. The portrait of the chief, by Sharpless, 
is an admirable likeness, and was the last original ever 
taken. The portrait of Mrs. Washington is pronounced 
by artists to be the most exquisite miniature ever seen 
in the United States. — Signed, George W. P. Custis. 
Arlington House, March the 25th, 1828." 

It was unanimously Resolved, That the grateful ac- 
knowledgments of the Massachusetts Historical Society 
be returned to the venerable widow of our late es- 
teemed and respected associate, Isaac P. Davis, for the 
beautiful miniature of Daniel Webster by Staigg, and 
for the interesting daguerrotypes of the miniatures of 
General Washington and Mrs. Washington, which she 
has kindly added to our Cabinet. 

The President read a letter from J. H. Trumbull, 
Esq., of Hartford, addressed to Mr. Deane, presenting 
to the Society a copy of Winder's " History of Knowl- 
edge," containing on a fly-leaf an interesting autograph 
letter of Dr. Benjamin Colman, dated July, 1747, ac- 
knowledging the receipt of these volumes. The Presi- 
dent having read portions of this letter, it was — 


Ordered, That the thanks of the Society be given to 
Mr. Trumbull for this donation. 

Mr. Folsom communicated the original telegraphic 
despatch sent by the Secretary of War, J. B. Floyd, 
17th October, 1859, to the commander at Fort Monroe, 
advising him of the seizure of the Arsenal at Harper's 
Ferry, and directing troops to be sent to that place. It 
was presented by Mr. Wallace Learning. 

Mr. Folsom called the attention of the meeting to a 
large portrait of our late associate, the Hon. Edward 
Everett, which had been brought to the rooms, at his 
suggestion, for the inspection of members. It was 
painted by Mr. Wight, of Boston ; and our late asso- 
ciate, Mr. Livermore, had nearly consummated a pur- 
chase of the picture by subscription, to be deposited 
in some public place, when he was removed from us by 

On motion of Dr. Bobbins, the subject of the pur- 
chase of this portrait was referred to the Standing Com- 

Dr. Robbins stated, that, having recently examined 
several old files of papers in the Cabinet of the Corre- 
sponding Secretary, he had discovered a letter written 
by our late associate, the Hon. Josiah Quincy, while a 
Representative in Congress in 1812, to the Rev. James 
Freeman, D.D., relating to the conditions on which the 
manuscript of " Bacon's Rebellion " had been sent to this 
Society by the Hon. William A. Burwell, a Member of 
Congress from Virginia. In this letter Mr. Quincy says, 
" Mr. Bur well has consented that the manuscript should 
remain in your hands for publication in the Twelfth 


volume of our Collections. He requested, that, in print- 
ing, great care should be taken of it ; and that it should 
be returned to me for him, after it has been published. 
This I have promised, and shall rely on your attention 
to the request." 

Dr. Bobbins reminded the meeting, that, in the year 
1856, when he was Chairman of the Standing Commit- 
tee, he communicated a letter from Conway Robinson, 
Esq., of Virginia, Chairman of the Executive Committee 
of the Virginia Historical Society, requesting that the 
manuscript in question might be restored to that State, 
and deposited in the archives of the Society which he 
represented. This request was made without the knowl- 
edge, on the part of the Virginia Historical Society, 
of the precise conditions on which the manuscript had 
been originally intrusted to our Society by the proprie- 
tor, Captain Nathaniel Burwell. It was couched in the 
most courteous terms, and asked the restoration of the 
relic as a favor, instead of claiming it as a right. 

Your Standing Committee sent Mr. Robinson's letter 
to the Hon. Josiah Quincy, asking his remembrance of 
the occurrence referred to, and his feelings and wishes 
in reference to the application of the Virginia Historical 
Society. Mr. Quincy, in reply, stated that he had " no 
wishes on the subject;" that Mr. Burwell "was a very 
interesting and. highly respected member of the Virginia 
delegation in Congress in 1812, a gentleman of the 
Old- Virginia School, gentle, affable, courteous ; that he 
cjaxe the letter to him for this Society, on condition that 
it should be printed." Mr. Quincy further said, that 
the only view that the Massachusetts Historical Society 


can take of the manuscript is, that they possess it, either 
as a property or a trust. If the former , their title is 
complete. If the latter, disposition to courtesy can be 
no justification of the transfer of a trust." 

Dr. Robbins remarked, that, after having received the 
views of Mr. Quincy, the Standing Committee, suppos- 
ing that the facts of the case had been accurately repre- 
sented by that venerable man, had sent a respectful and 
kindly letter to Mr. Eobinson, declining to comply with 
the request of the Virginia Historical Society, and ex- 
plaining the grounds of such a decision. 

Dr. Robbins then said, that it was not a matter of 
surprise, that, after the lapse of forty -four years, Mr. 
Quincy should have forgotten the precise conditions on 
which the manuscript had been put into his hands ; 
that no man was more faithful and exact in the per- 
formance of a promise or the discharge of an obligation ; 
and that, were he now living to see the letter which 
he wrote to Dr. Freeman in 1812, he would doubtless 
be the very first to urge that the engagement which he 
then made should be fulfilled. 

In view of these circumstances, Dr. Robbins sug- 
gested that proper measures be taken by this Society to 
restore the manuscript of " Bacon and Ingraham's Re- 
bellion " to the Virginia Historical Society, in compliance 
with the request made by the Executive Committee of 
that Society, in 1856, and seconded by the son of Cap- 
tain Nathaniel Burwell, the original proprietor of the 
relic, and also by the son of the Hon. William A. Bur- 
well, who had entrusted it to Mr. Quincy to be printed 
in our Collections. 

1866.] JULY MEETING. 247 


A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day, July 12, at eleven o'clock, a.m. ; the President, 
the Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, in the chair. 

The Librarian announced donations from the Amer- 
ican Academy of Arts and Sciences ; the American 
Antiquarian Society ; the American Philosophical So- 
ciety ; La Commission des Monuments et Documents 
Historiques et des Batiments Civils du Departement 
de la Gironde ; the Mercantile Library Association of 
Brooklyn, N.Y. ; the New-England Historic-Genealogical 
Society ; the New-England Loyal Publication Society ; 
the Polytechnic College of the State of Pennsylvania; 
the Proprietors of the " Heraldic Journal " ; the Pro- 
prietor of the. " Savannah Daily Republican " ; the State 
Historical Society of Iowa ; the Suffolk Institute of 
Archaeology and Natural History ; the Trustees of Dart- 
mouth College ; the Trustees of the Peabody Institute, 
South Danvers ; George Chandler, M.D. ; Charles L. 
Flint, Esq.; Major L. A. Huguet-Latour ; Mr. Edward 
H. Savage ; Edward Shippen, Esq. ; H. E. Frederic 
Smyth, Governor of New Hampshire; John Swett, Esq. ; 
Messrs. Wiggin & Lunt ; Hon. Henry Wilson ; and from 
Messrs. Green, Metcalf, C. Robbins, Webb, Whitmore, 
and Winthrop, of the Society. 

The President presented, from Count Adolphe de Cir- 
court, a number of the " Revue Britannique," contain- 
ing an article written by him on Mr. Ticknor's Life of 
William H. Prescott. 


The President read two letters from Mr. William 
C. Todd, one of which relates to a gift to the Cab- 
inet of a piece of the Confederate flag first raised at 
Montgomery, Alabama. The following letter accom- 
panied a bullet and beads dug from the ruins of Fort 
Venango : — 

To the Massachusetts Historical Society. 

In a recent visit to the oil regions of Pennsylvania, I obtained a 
bullet and a few beads dug up from the ruins of old Fort Venango. 
If they are not too insignificant, I would like to present them to the 
Massachusetts Historical Society. 

The fort was situated in what is now Franklin, one of the most 
prominent of the oil towns. It was one of four — Erie, Waterford, 
and Fort Du Quesne, being the remaining three — constructed by the 
French to guard the country against the English. The French, as is 
well known, had at an early date taken formal possession of the coun- 
try, and, in 1749, sent Bienville to renew their claim, which he did 
by burying at various points plates of lead as evidence of title. One 
of these, buried near the site of Fort Venango, contained the follow- 
ing inscription : — 

" In the year 1749, reign of Louis XV., King of France, we, Cel- 
eron, commander of a detachment by Monsieur the Marquis of Ga- 
lissoniere, commander-in-chief of New France, to establish tranquillity 
in certain Indian villages of these cantons, have buried this plate at 
the confluence of the Paradakoim, this twenty-ninth of July, near the 
river Ohio, otherwise called 'beautiful river,' as a monument of re- 
newal of possession, which we now take of said river and all its tribu- 
taries, and of all the land on both sides as far as the sources of said 
rivers ; inasmuch as the preceding kings of France have enjoyed it 
by their arms and treaties, especially those of Kyswick, Utrecht, and 

Fort Venango was completed in 1755. The original draft made by 
the French engineer is now in the possession of William Reynolds, Esq., 
of Meadville, Penn. In December, 1753, Washington, on his tour of 
inspection by order of Dinwiddie, visited it, but was refused admis- 
sion, as one historian states, though I would not so judge- from Ban- 
croft. It must have been a large and important post, as history speaks 
of an expedition fitted out from it, consisting of " three hundred and 

1866.] GIFT TO THE SOCIETY. 249 

sixty batteaux and canoes, with upwards of a thousand men and 
eighteen pieces of artillery." In 1763, a band of Seneca Indians, 
under pretence of friendship, gained admission to the fort and massa- 
cred the garrison, after which it ceased to be used as a fortification. 
In the language of Bancroft, " The fort was consumed, never to be 
rebuilt ; and not one of the garrison was left alive to tell the story of 
its destruction." 

The embankment forming the outline of the fort is still in a good 
state of preservation ; and the little stream, diverted from its original 
course to furnish water for the garrison, still flows in its artificial bed. 
As it is now over a hundred years since the destruction of the fort, this 
bullet must have lain there certainly that period, as well as the beads, 
probably used by the French in their traffic with the Indiar.s. Until 
the oil excitement, this was an isolated spot, distant from railroad com- 
munication, and but little visited by strangers. Many bullets, beads, 
hatchets, &c, have been dug up in years past, and used as playthings 
by the children living near. They are now, however, rare ; and in a 
little time, probably, with the influx of population and the changes the 
country is rapidly undergoing, every vestige of the fort will disappear. 

The name Venango was from the Indian " In-nan-ga-ah," altered 
to Venango, the name now given to the county. It was the original 
name of French Creek, which unites with the Alleghany near the site 
of the fort, the name "French Creek" having been given it by Wash- 
ington. Near Fort Venango, Washington, on his return home from 
his expedition at the close of 1753, twice came near losing his life, — 
once by the bullet of an Indian, and again in crossing the Alleghany 
on a raft. 

But it should have before this occurred to me, that I am simply 
narrating what is well known to the members of the Society. 

Very respectfully, William C. Todd. 

Boston, 17 State Street, June 15, 1866. 

The acknowledgments of the Society were ordered 
for this contribution. 

The President read a letter from Mr. Charles H. Hart, 
of Philadelphia, accompanying a gift to the Society of 
a photograph of a memorial engraving of Washington, 
and a photograph of a rare portrait of Franklin, for 
which the thanks of the Society were voted. 



The President submitted a circular from the President 
of the " Commission des Monuments et Documents His- 
toriques et des Batiments Civils " of the " Department 
de la Gironde," proposing to exchange their publica- 
tions for those of this Society. It was accompanied 
by an index of the Reports of the Commission from 
1840 to 1855, and a Report of its Proceedings from 
1862 to 1864. This communication was referred to the 
Standing Committee. 

The President read the following letter : — 

Hon. R. C. Winthrop, President of the Massachusetts Historical Society. 

My dear Sir, — Allow me, by means of your kindness, to proffer 
to the Massachusetts Historical Society a cast of the bust of Mr. 
Sparks, by Powers. 

From Mr. Powers I received his own mould ; and you are aware, 
that to an artist, such casts, however inferior their delicacy of finish 
in the mere accessories, possess an interest peculiar to themselves. 
Besides the cast in my possession, I think there are but three ; and the 
mould can be no longer used. 

Our grateful sense of the affectionate respect, the warm feeling 
towards Mr. Sparks, and the beautiful recognition of those powers he 
consecrated to his country, so lately received from your Society, finds 
relief in this tribute from his orphans and from myself. 

I remain, dear Sir, very respectfully, Mary C. Sparks. 

26th Juke, 1866. 

The grateful acknowledgments of the Society were 
expressed to Mrs. Sparks for this acceptable gift to its 

The President announced the death of the Hon. 
Lewis Cass, an Honorary Member of the Society, and 
spoke as follows : — 

The Hon. Lewis Cass was elected an Honorary Member of 
this Society in 1833. He was born at Exeter, New Hamp- 
shire, and was for some years a fellow-student of our late 


honored associates, Daniel Webster and Leverett Saltonstall, 
at Exeter Academy. The son of a captain in the Revolu- 
tionary army, who had served at Bunker Hill, he inherited a 
strong taste for military life ; and, after a few years of study 
and practice as a lawyer in the State of Ohio, — whither he 
had removed with his father in 1800, — and after a brief term 
in the Legislature of that State, he became a colonel of vol- 
unteers, and soon after a colonel and brigadier-general in the 
regular army of the United States, rendering faithful service 
to his country in the war of 1812. Retiring from military 
duty, he became Territorial Governor of Michigan, and Super- 
intendent of Indian Affairs for the region which now includes 
both Michigan and Wisconsin. It was in this connection that 
General Cass obtained that intimate and extensive acquaint- 
ance with the Indian tribes which he displayed in so many 
ways in his subsequent career, and which he embodied in sev- 
eral articles in the " North-American Review, 7 ' which attracted 
great attention. These articles, together with an address 
on the same subject which he delivered before the Historical 
Society of Michigan in 1829, gave him a wide-spread literary 
reputation. The extent and value of his labors during this 
period may be estimated by the fact, that, when he resigned 
the office of Governor of Michigan in 1831, he had negotiated 
nineteen treaties with the Indians, and had obtained from 
them cessions of land in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and 
Wisconsin, to an amount equal to a fourth part of the entire 
area of those great States. 

In 1831, General Cass became Secretary of War under 
General Jackson. In 1836 he went to Paris as Minister 
Plenipotentiary, where he remained in that capacity till 1842, 
publishing, before his return, an interesting account of the 
Court of Louis Philippe, under the title of the "King, Court, 
and Government of France." In 1845 he was elected a Sena- 
tor of the United States from the State of Michigan, and 
continued in the Senate (except during a brief interval, when 


he was an "unsuccessful candidate for the Presidency) until 
1857, when he became Secretary of State under President 
Buchanan. It is well remembered, that he resigned this 
office a few months only before the inauguration of President 
Lincoln, because he could not concur in the inactive policy 
of Mr. Buchanan towards the Southern secessionists. Since 
that time, General Cass has lived in retirement at Detroit, 
where he died, in his eighty-fourth year, on the seventeenth 
day of June last. Among all the American statesmen of this 
century, there has been no one of purer life, of more strictly 
temperate habits, of greater industry, or of more ardent patri- 
otism. And though his views of public policy were frequently 
at wide variance with those entertained by the men whom 
New England has most honored and trusted, he yet always 
enjoyed from his opponents, as well as from his friends, that 
regard and respect to which his varied accomplishments, his 
valuable services, and his personal independence and integ- 
rity, eminently entitled him. The official announcement of 
his death by Mr. Secretary Seward, under the authority of 
President Johnson, was a fit tribute to so protracted and 
patriotic a career, and gives pleasant assurance, that political 
differences and partisan rivalries are forgotten at the grave. 

The President called attention to a photographic view 
of Tremont and Boylston Streets as they were in 1800, 
presented to the Society by the Mayor of Boston ; also 
a view of the house on the Dalton estate, built in Water 
Street in 1758, presented by Mr. C. H. Dalton. 

Mr. W. G. Brooks read the following paper relating 
to a change of the rule which determined the order in 
which the names of students should be placed in the 
Triennial Catalogue of Harvard College : — 

In the paper by our associate, Mr. Sibley, upon the Tri- 
ennial Catalogues of Harvard College, printed in the last 


volumes of the Society's Proceedings, allusion is made to 
the change in placing the names in the Catalogue. In all the 
Catalogues previous to 1773, the graduates were arranged 
according to family rank. Mr. Quincy, in his " History of the 
College/' alludes to this, and says, that, during the adminis- 
tration of President Locke, much dissatisfaction existed, and 
a complaint was made by one individual that his son had not 
his proper rank according to rule, and the subject was brought 
before the Faculty ; the result of which was, that the Over- 
seers passed a vote, " That, for the future, the practice be 
laid aside, and that the names of the scholars in each class 
should be placed in alphabetical order." 

Among my papers I find some documents which shed 
further light upon this subject. It appears that the com- 
plaint referred to was made by Samuel Phillips of Andover ; 
and that it related to his son Samuel Phillips, jun., who was 
afterwards Lieutenant-Governor of the Commonwealth. 

"At a meeting of the Trustees of Harvard College Aug 18. 1769, 
Samuel Phillips of Andover Esq r having some time ago entered a 
complaint to the President & Tutors that his Son Samuel Phillips a 
student at the College had not his proper rank in the Class — particu- 
larly that he did not rank with the sons of those Gentlemen who were 
Justices of the Quorum when he himself had been in the Commission 
of the Peace & Quorum a longer time than any of them — and hav- 
ing from the late President Holyoke & others in the Government of 
the College a promise, That the records in the Secretary's office should 
be consulted, & if it did appear that there was a mistake it should be 
rectified ; 

" The Secretaries Books having been accordingly consulted, it appears 
that Mr Phillips was put in the Commission of the Peace in the Year 
1752, & that he was made Justice of the Quorum Nov 19. 1761. 

" That John Murray Esq (whose son is placed at the head of the 
Justices) was put in the Commission for the Peace Jan 7, 1754, and 
was made Justice of the Quorum in 1762. 

" Therefore Voted — That Phillips's son, above mentioned, Samuel 
Phillips, Esqr, do for the future take his place between Vassall and 
Murray, and 


" Ordered That Mr Elliot, Tutor to the Class in which Phillips is 
thus placed, do deliver a copy of the above vote to him. 

a true copy- 
attest Andrew Elliot, Jr." 

Mr. Phillips writes to his son under date of Aug. 29, 
1769: — 

" You are now in the most difficult situation, & the eyes of all, above 
and below you, will be upon you, & I wish it might be that you could 
be at home till the talk about the change was a little over. Every 
word, action, and even your countenance, will be watched, particularly 
by those who envy you, and perhaps by those who do not. Therefore 
keep as much retired as possible, waive all conversation upon it, dont 
let it appear that you are in the least degree affected with the change. 
If any difficulties should arise with any of your classmates that now 
fall below you, treat them with all possible tenderness. If you want 
advice how to conduct, consult Mr Eliot & Mr Hiltyard, but let it be 
in the most private manner, & keep the advice to yourself. If Mur- 
ray is uneasy and manifests it to you, say nothing to irritate him. 
What if you should ask him, whether it would be any ease to his mind 
if you should continue to stand below him in reciting? But by no 
means give the most distant hint of yielding your place. But don't 
begin with him upon it. On the whole say as little as possible." 


A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day, July 12, at eleven o'clock, a.m. ; the President, 
the Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, in the chair. 

The Librarian announced donations from the State of 
Vermont ; the American Numismatic and Archaeological 
Society; the American Philosophical Society; the Chicago 


Historical Society ; the Essex Institute ; the Proprietor 
of the " Savannah Daily Republican " ; the Publisher of 
the " American Loyalist " ; John Appleton, M.D. ; Fran- 
cis H. Brown, M.D. ; George E. Chambers, Esq. ; Henry 
B. Dawson, Esq. ; Eranklin B. Dexter, A.M. ; Ira Divoll, 
Esq. ; Clement H. Hill, Esq. ; Joseph Jackson Howard, 
LL.D. ; Dr. Asa Millet; Hon. Alexander H. Bice ; Miss 
L. G. Sanford ; Mr. George Derby Welles ; Hon. Henry 
Wilson ; Mrs. Joseph E. Worcester ; and from Messrs. 
Green, Latham, Metcalf, C. Bobbins, Sibley, Wheat- 
land, and Winthrop, of the Society. 

The President read a letter from Ivers J. Austin, Esq., 
accompanying a donation to the Society of eight hundred 
dollars of Confederate bonds, for which the acknowledg- 
ments of the Society were ordered. 

George Peabody, Esq., was unanimously elected an 
Honorary Member. 

The President read the following letter from Lord 
St. Germans : — 

Port Eliot, July 18, 1866. 

My dear Mr. Winthrop, — Your letter of June 20th, and the 
volume which accompanied it, reached me this morning. Pray, convey 
to the Massachusetts Historical Society my grateful acknowledgments 
of their kindness in sending me this record of their last year's Proceed- 
ings, and assure them that I gladly accept the thanks which they offer 
me for the paper that Mr. Forster transmitted to them. I rejoice to 
know that it has been deemed to be worthy of a place in their archives. 
What you say of Mr. Forster's book gives me great pleasure. My 
esteem for him, and my veneration for the memory of Sir John Eliot, 
make it very agreeable to me to hear the work commended by a com- 
petent judge. 

Believe me to be, my dear Mr. Winthrop, sincerely yours, 

St. Germans. 
Hon. R. C. Winthrop, LL.D. 


An application from Mr. Henry B. Dawson, of Mor- 
risania, N.Y., for leave to copy and print the Sermon 
of the Eev. John "Wheelwright, among the Hutchinson 
manuscripts in the archives of the Society, was referred 
to the Standing Committee, with full power. 

[The rf Standing Committee," on considering this application, 
decided that it was the duty of the Society to print this ser- 
mon, and all the other unpublished manuscripts in the Hutch- 
inson collection, in a volume or volumes of their own, as 
soon as the funds of the Society should enable them to do 
so. With a view, however, to gratify the wish for this par- 
ticular discourse, it was referred to the " Publishing Commit- 
tee," and by their authority is here printed.]* 


By M^ John Wheelewright. 

Math : the 9. 15. 

And Jesus said vnto them, can the Children of the bridechamber mourne as long as 
the Bridegroome is w th them, but the dayes will come, when the Bridegroome shall be 
taken from them, & then they shall fast. 

Our blessed Lord & Sauio r Jesus Christ, though he was the most 
innocent that euer was, so that they w ch hated him, hated him w tb out a 
cause, yet notw th standing the wicked world, they were euer taking ex- 
ceptions, both against his sayings & doings. 

* The original manuscript of Wheelwright's Sermon, or what has sometimes been 
supposed to be the original (though we have not been able to compare it with any of 
Wheelwright's known writing), is in the archives of this Society. From some memo- 

f The fast was appointed by the General Court to be held on " the 19th of the 
11th month, being the 5th day of the weeke, Thursday" (Mass. Col. Records, I. 187). 
Winthrop (History, I. 213) says the fast was kept on the 20th, which was Friday. 
It was probably kept on Thursday, the 19th, that day of the week being usually 
selected, at that period, for such occasions. The date placed at the head of this 
transcript of the discourse was probably not copied from the original, or was incor- 
rectly copied. — Eds. 


In the beginning of this chapter, they brought vnto him a man sicke 
of the palsey, lying vpon a bedd. Jesus seeing their faith, said vnto 

randa upon one of the blank leaves, it appears to have once been in the possession of 
John Coggeshall, one of Wheelwright's contemporaries and adherents. It originally- 
contained forty-two pages, the first eight of which are now wanting. There is, however, 
a complete transcript of the Sermon, in an ancient hand, among the Hutchinson manu- 
scripts in the library of the Society. 

In the copy which has been made for the press, the original has been followed; and 
the part wanting in that has been supplied from the ancient transcript referred to. This 
differs from the original principally in its orthography. 

The Sermon was preached on a fast-day appointed by the General Court of Massachu- 
setts to be held on the 19th of January, 1636-7. Dr. Palfrey thinks it was delivered at 
Mount- Wollaston Church, which was then a branch of the Boston First Church ; but, 
from the " Briefe Apollogie " in defence of the Court (probably written by Winthrop), 
printed in the " Short Story," p. 52, it seems certain that it was preached in Boston. Dr. 
Lunt thinks it by no means improbable, that Wheelwright preached it to his own congre- 
gation at Mount Wollaston in the forenoon, and repeated the substance of it at the 
Boston Church in the afternoon, after Cotton had concluded his discourse. For the 
preaching of this sermon, Wheelwright was adjudged by the Court " guilty of sedition." 
Winthrop tells the story thus: "Mr. Wheelwright, one of the members of Boston, 
preaching at the last fast, inveighed against all that walked in a covenant of works, as 
he described it to be, viz. such as maintain sanctification as an evidence of justification, 
&c and called them antichrists, and stirred up the people against them with much bit- 
terness and vehemency. For this he was called into the court, and his sermon being 
produced, he justified it, and confessed he did mean all that walk in such a way. Where- 
upon the elders of the rest of the churches were called, and asked whether they, in their 
ministry, did walk in such a way. They all acknowledged they did. So, after much 
debate, the court adjudged him guilty of sedition, and also of contempt, for that the 
court had appointed the fast as a means of reconciliation of the differences, &c. and he 
purposely set himself to kindle and increase them," &c. Scarcely more than a brief allu- 
sion to the famous "Antinomdan controversy in Massachusetts" can be made in this 
note: and we would refer those interested in this subject to Savage's edition of Win- 
throp's " History of New England ; " Ellis's "Life of Anne Hutchinson," in Sparks's 
American Biography; and Palfrey's "History of New England." See also Lunt's 
" Two [Bi-centenary] Discourses delivered September 29th, 1839," at Quincy. 

Mr. Savage, who read this Sei-mon, over forty years ago, while editing Winthrop's 
History, unhesitatingly declares (vol. i p. 215), that its character "was not such as can 
justify the court in their sentence for sedition and contempt" &c. Dr. Palfrey, who gives 
a long extract from it on page 479 of the first volume of his History, thinks that " the 
composition is of that character which is common with skilful agitators. Along with 
disclaimers of the purpose to excite to physical violence, it abounds in language suitable 
to bring about that result," &c. 

A tract entitled " A Glass for the people of New England, .... By S. G[room]," 
evidently a Quaker, published in England in 1676, contains some extracts from this ser- 
mon; from which it is inferred that it continued to circulate in manuscript for many 
years. Dr. Palfrey (" History of New England," vol. i. p. 480) discovered that one pas- 
sage in the " Glass," there attributed to Wheelwright, is not contained in the Sermon, 
but is the conclusion of Vane's " Breife Answer" to Winthrop, in Hutchinson's "Col- 
lection of Original Papers," pp. 82, 83. — Eds. 


him, sonne be of good cheare, thy synnes be forgiuen thee, the Scribes 
say w th in themselues that he blasphemeth. Christ perceiuing their 
thoughts, answered for himselfe, & telleth them, he cold as easily for- 
giue synnes as restore this man to health ; Christ goeth from thence, 
& goeth to the receipt of custome & calleth Ma the w the Publican, 
& he receaueth him into his house & maketh a feast. Christ sit- 
teth downe w th Publicans & synners : the Pharisees take exceptions, 
& tell his Disciples, that their Master eateth w th Publicans & syn- 
ners, & Christ hearing of it, answereth for himselfe, & telleth them, 
they were fit subiects to worke vpon, he iustifieth the vngodly : those 
that are iustified by Christ must not looke to be saued by sacrifice, but 
by the mercy of Christ. A little after, the Disciples of John were 
instigated by the Scribes & Pharisees Mar: 2. 18, and they put this 
question vnto him, Why they & the Pharisees fast often ? and the 
Disciples of Christ fast not ? And Christ answered in my text. And 
thus you see the coherence & dependance of these words. 

The text consisteth of two argurn*? whereby Christ did prooue & 
shew, that it was not for his Disciples to fast. The first is taken from 
the remoouall of any iust cause of fasting w cb they had for the p r sent. 
The second argum* is taken from a position or putting a iust cause of 
fast they shold haue hereafter, and that was the remooving Christ from 

I will not stand to shew the difference of fasts, w ch are either con- 
strayned, civill, miraculous, dayly, or religious, but the fast here spoken 
of in my text, is of the last sort, and mourning is added in my text, 
because fasting & mourning go together, Joel : 2 ; and where it is 
here said, the children of the bridechamber cannot fast, it is to be vn- 
derstood an impossibility of seasonablenes, they cannot do it sea- 

The text contayneth in it two poynts, but I wrap all vp in one poynt 
of Doctrine, and that is this. That the only cause of the fasting of true 
beleeuers is the absence of Christ. 

Either Christ he is p r sent w tb his people, or els absent from his peo- 
ple ; if he be p r sent w th his people, then they haue no cause to fast : 
therefore it must be his absence that is the true cause of fasting, when 
he is taken away, then they must fast. If we take a view of all the 
fasts, that haue beene kept, either in the old or new Testament, we 
shall finde the fasts that haue beene kept by true beleeuers, haue had 
this for the grounds of them, the absence of the Lord. What was the 
reason why the people of Israeli kept a fast, Judges the 20. & 


1 Sam : 7, and Jehosephat & all Juda 2 Cron : 20, and the people of 
Israeli, after they came out of captivity, Nehemiah 9. And the 
church of Antioch, Acts 13, and Paul & Barnabas, Acts 14; was it 
not because they wanted the Lord to protect, defend, pardon, & assist ? 
Where there is mencon made of fasting in the Scripture, you shall like- 
wise find mencon made of turning vnto the Lord, and the Prophett 
Joel, when he speaketh of a fast, he biddeth them turne to the Lord : 
whereby it is evident, that the reason why God's people do fast, is 
because there is a distance betweene them & the Lord. 

Peas: 1. The first reason is, when Jesus Christ is aboundantly p r sent, 
he doth make a supply of whatsoeuer the children of God can pcure 
in this extraordinary way of fasting : Wee know that vnder the cap- 
tivity the people of God they fasted exceedingly, they kept a fast in 
the fourth moneth, 5. 7. 10, and now the Lord pmiseth a restauration 
of Jerusalem, that is especially accomplished in the kingdome of Christ, 
when he shall raigne ouer his, and he saith, in this day he will turne 
the fast of the fourth moneth, 5. 7. 10, into ioyfull gladnes & cheare- 
full feasts. Zach : 8. There is a prophecy of a glorious Church, w ch 
the Lord will haue vnder the new testament, & especially when the 
Jewes come to be converted vnto God, and there is a pmise that the 
Lord will dwell w th them, & they shall be his people, & he will be 
w th them, and the effect of it is, all teares shall be wiped from their 
eyes; Reu : 21, 4, and the same is pphecied in Isay 65, 19. so farr as 
Christ is psent he taketh away all cause of mourning & weeping, and 
in his psence is fulnes of ioy, and at his right hand there is pleasures 
for evermore. Ps : 16, 11. 

Reas : 2. The second reason is, because when the Lord Jesus Christ 
cometh once to be absent, then cometh in matter of mourning & fast- 
ing, all misery followeth the absence of Christ ; as you see darknes 
followeth the absence of the sunne : the Lord leaueth Hezekiah, 2 
Kings. 20. 12, 13, and then what followeth vpon it, he sinneth exceed- 
ingly in shewing the Ambassadors the treasure in his house. The 
Lord departeth from his Disciples, & his Disciples leaue him & for- 
sake him. John : 1 6. So when it pleaseth the Lord to absent himselfe, 
then cometh in cause of mourning, and this hath beene the reason that 
the seruants of God haue wonderfully desired the psence of the Lord. 
Moses desired Gods psence, or els never to go vp, and so Dauid, Ps : 
27, 9, because he knew very well, if God were absent from him, then 
misery wold follow. 

Vse 1. The first vse may serue to teach vs a reason, why those that 


are the children of God, vpon their first acquaintance they get w th the 
Lord, they are not much addicted vnto fasting, the Lord doth not cary 
them that way ; the time when Christ was vpon the earth, he being 
psent w th his Disciples, he was euer & anon instructing of them ; 
when they were in dobt of any thing, he telleth them, and if they cold 
not answere many dobts, then Christ came & answered for them, and 
if at any tyme they were in any danger, then Christ comforteth them, 
and was euer & anon w th them. And thus the Lord dealeth w tb his 
children, spiritually in regard of his spirituall psence, when Christ first 
cometh to breake into the soules of his, he is wonderfully pleasant vnto 
them, and euer & anon instructing of them & comforting of them ; 
yea, the Lord heareth them before they pray, or when they are a 
speaking, & doth exceedingly solace them ; but afterwards it may be 
the saynts of God may come to be left & forsaken of the Lord, either 
because the children of their mother is angry w th them, & make them 
keepe the vyneyard, those vnder a covenant of works, maketh them 
trauaile vnder the burthen of that Covenant, and so maketh the Lord 
absent himselfe from them, and then Christ cometh to depart from them, 
& then they fast ; or els whilest they grow carnall, & fall into a 
spirituall sleepe, Christ leaues them. Cant : 5. 6. 

2. Secondly, from hence we are taught how to cary & behaue our- 
selues now vpon this day of humiliacon, there are diuers evills w ch wee 
may happily desire shold be remoued, both from forrayne nations & 
from this place where we live, and divers good things we desire shold 
be pcured both for them & ourselues. What is the course we must 
take ? must we especially looke after the remouing those euill things 
& pcuring those good things ? this an hipocrite will do, see the 
example of Ahab, 1 Kings 21 : 27, 28, 29, and the Lord will grant 
the desire of hipocrites : in this case see 78 Ps : 34, for there the 
hipocriticall people of the Jewes in their misery sought the Lord, and 
the Lord being full of compassion, he forgiueth their iniquities & de- 
stroyeth them not, in the 38 verse of that psalme : must we then do as 
they did? by no meanes : What must we do then ? We must looke first 
at the Lord Jesus Christ, & most desire now that Jesus Christ may 
be receaued in other nations & other places, and may be more re- 
ceaued amongst our selues, we must turne vnto the Lord, & then he 
will turne all into a right frame, when many enimyes came against 
Jehosophat, what doth he ? he goeth & seeketh the Lord, & his 
eyes are towards the Lord. 2 Cron: 20, 12, so the children of God 
are a company, a generation that seeke the Lord & his strength & 


face euermore, Ps : 105, 4. they do not only seeke the gifts of his 
spiritt, but the Lord himselfe, they doe not seeke after strength to be 
receiued from the Lord only, but they seeke after the strength that is 
in the Lord, they do not seeke only to know the Lord by fruits & 
effects, but looke vpon the Lord w th a direct eye of faith they seeke his 
face, and this is the generatien of seekers spoken of Ps : 24, 6, therefore 
if we meane to pcure good things & remooue evill things, this will be 
our course, seeing the absence of the Lord is the cause of fasting, and 
the end of our fasting must be our turning to the Lord, & he will 
turne to vs, Joel 2. and thus the Lord will turne all things for the good 
of his, Rom: 8, 32, if we* get y e Lorde Jesus Ch, we shal haue al 

3. Thirdly, from hence we are tought a reason, why, thos y* doe 
not knowe the Lorde Jesus Ch, they are vsially giuen y e most vnto fast- 
ing, not y 4 I condemne fasting by any means ; but this is it, many times 
thos that are the leaste aquainted w th y e Lorde Jesus are giuen y e most 
of al to fasting, y e Papists are giuen much to fasting, & ponish them- 
selues by whiping, & y e people in captiuitie they were not aquainted w th 
the Lorde, & soe did not faste to the Lorde. Zac : 7. 5. 6. & ap- 
pointed more fasts then the Lorde appointed, the 4, 5, 10 month, 
& the Phareses fasted twise a weeke, Luk. 18. 12. they wanted y e 
Lorde Jesus Ch, & they must haue somethinge to reste vpon, & must 
close w th some thinge, & because they wante Ch they fast. This for y e 
first vse of instruction. 

Vse : 2. The second vse of exhortation, & it serueth to exhorte vs 
al, in the feare of God, to haue a spetial caire, that we p te not w th 
y e Lorde Jesus Ch : if we p te w th Ch we g te w th our Hues, for 
Ch is our life, saith Paule, Col. 3. 4, the Lorde Jesus Ch is not onely 
the author of our life, but is the very seate of the life of God's chil- 
deren, & al there life is deriued from Ch, for he is y e roote & he 
conuayeth life to y e branshes, & thos y* are y e childeren of God, 
they liue by y e faith of y e sonne of God, Gal. 2. 20. they haue faith 
to lay houlde on the sonne of God, & y e son of God conuayeth life 
to them ; therefore if we p te w th Ch, we p te w th our Hues, there- 
fore it standeth vs all in hande to haue a caire Ch be not taken 
fro vs, if we belonge to the election of graise, Ch can not be holy 

* The early transcript of the sermon has been followed to this place; and here we 
be°:in with the " original manuscript," the first eight pages of which are wanting. — 


taken away from vs, yet may be taken away in some degree, therefore 
let vs haue a caire to keepe y e Lorde Jesus Ch. 

Ob : It may be heare demanded, what course shal we take to keepe 
the Lorde Jesus Ch. ? 

A : The way we must take, if soe be we wil not haue y e Lorde Jesus 
Ch taken from vs, is this, we must all of vs ppaire for a spiritual com- 
bat, we must put on y e whole armor of God, Eph : 6, 11, & must 
haue our loines girte, & be ready to fight ; behould the bed y* is Sol- 
amos, there is threskore valient men abought it, valient men. of 
Israel, euery one hath his sworde in his hande, & being experte in 
warre, & hath his sworde girte on his thie, because of feare in y e night, 
if we wil not fighte for y e Lorde Jesus Ch. Ch may come to be sur- 
prised. Solamon lyeth in his bed, & there is such men abought the 
bed of Sollamon, & they watch ouer Sollamon, & wil not suffer Solla- 
mo to be taken away; & who is this Sollamon, but y e Lorde Jesus 
Ch ; & Avhat is y e bed, but y e Church of true beleeuers, & who are 
those valient men of Israel, but al the childeren of God, they ought to 
shew themselues vallient, they should haue there swords readie, they 
must fight, & fighte w th spiritual weapens, for the weapens of our war- 
faire are not carnal but spiritual, &c. 2 Cor : 10, 4. therefore wheresoe 
euer we Hue, if we would haue y e Lorde Jesus Ch to be aboundantly 
p r sent w th vs, we must all of vs ppaire for battel, & come out ag 1 y e 
enymies of y e Lorde, & if we doe not striue, those vnder a couenant of 
workes wil p r uaile. We must haue a spetial caire therefore to she we 
our selues coragious. al y e vallient men of Dauid, & all y e men of 
Israel, Barak, & Debora & Jael, all must out & fight for Ch ; curse 
ye Meroz, because they came not ought to helpe y e Lorde ag* y e mighty? 
Judg : 5, 23 — therefore if we wil keepe y e Lorde Jesus Ch & his 
p r sence, & power amongst vs, we must fight. 

That thes things may be y e better cleared, we must vnderstand & 
cal to our considerations, y* as soone as euer Ch was borne into y e 
world, Herod & al Jerusalem was troubled. Math : 2, & if y e Lorde 
had not p r uented him, he sought to destroy him, & when Ch Jesus came 
once to shew him selfe, & to declaire him selfe, & exersise his publique 
minestery, y e world seteth them selues ag* him to intrap him, & they 
labour to kille him, & neuer lefte, til they crusified y e Lorde of glory, 
for this was done by Herod & Pontius Pilat, Act. 4 ; & when they had 
crusified him, that would not serue y e turne, but he being buried, they 
come & make it suer, & sealeth y e stone, & seteth a watch & 
warde, & would haue buried y e Lorde for euer, & would haue kepte 


him eternally in the graue, but he raised him selfe by his power ; and 
sins Ch reserection & assention al y e enymies of y e Lorde Jesus Ch, 
they endeauour to doe it spiritually, & as they buried y e Lorde Jesus 
Ch, & laboured to keepe him there, soe spiritually they burie Ch, & they 
doe not onely labour to do this, y* are pagonish, but y e antichtian. Why 
doe y e heathen raige & the people imagine a vaine thinge, Psal. 2, 1, 
what people are they, the people of God, y e people of y e Jues, this 
people doe imagine to take away y e Lorde Jesus Ch, & what hath 
beene y e practis of all Antechtian spirits, but onely to take away y e 
Ch, y e Son of y e liueing God, & to put in fals Ch, & to deceiue the 
electe, if it were possible, Math. 24, 24; for what is Antech., but one 
being ag* Ch., & for Ch, his being for Ch, is being ag* Ch, he is ag* Ch. 
becaus he would put one in y e roome of Ch, therefore if we wil keepe 
the Lorde Jesus Ch amongst vs, we must stande vpon our gairde, & 
watch ouer y e Lorde Jtsus Ch, as y e vallient men of Israel watched 
ouer Solomon. 

Ob. It may be heare demanded what course must we take to p r uaile 
in this combat, for fight we must ? 

A. If we would p r uaile thorow y e strength of y e Lorde for of our 
selues we can doe noe thinge, then we must first contende for y e faith 
once deliuered to y e saints, y e Epistle of Jude, v. 3, y t is y e Gospel, 
it was but once deliuered for y e substans, though many times in re- 
gairde of y e maner, w r e must therefore striue for y e faith of y e Gospel, 
& striue togeather for y e Gospel, Phil. 1, 27, if y* y e light once be 
taken away, & darkenes come vpon y e face of y e Church, then we may 
be eaysyly deluded, and a false Ch. put in y e trew Ch roome. 

Ob. It may be demanded, what is y e gospel. 

A. It is y* same glad tideings y* the Lorde sente into y e world of a 
Saviour y* is borne vnto vs, euen Jesus Ch y e Lorde, this same gospel 
is y' heauenly doctrin y* was pfesied of before by y e pfet conserning 
Jesus Ch the Lorde, to be maide of y e seede of Dauid. Y e gospel is a 
deuine heauenly supnateral doctrin, containeing in it y e reuelation of 
Jesus Ch, to preach y e Gospel is to preach Ch,. & y e Apostle sath, Gal. 
6, 14. God forbid y* I should glory in any thinge but in y e crosse of 
Ch : soe y e Gospel is such a doctrin as doth houlde forth Jesus Ch, & 
noe thinge but Ch, when such a doctrin is houlden forth as doth reueale 
Jesus Ch to be our wisdum, our righteousnes, our sanctification, our 
redemption. 1 Cor. 1, 30, when al is taken away from y e creatuer, & 
al giuen to Ch, soe y* neither before our conuertion, nor after, we are 
able to put forth one act of true, saueing spiritual wisdum, but we 



must haue it put forth from y e Lorde Jesus Ch, w th home we are 
maide one ; & such a doctrine houlden forth as declaires that we are 
not able to doe any worke of sanctification, further then we are acted by 
y e Lorde, nor able to pcuer our Justification, but it must be the Lorde 
Jesus Ch y* must apply himselfe & his righteousnes to vs, & we are 
not able to redeeme our selues from y e least euel, but he is our redemp- 
tion ; when Ch is thus houlden forth to be al in al, al in y e roote, al in 
y e bransh, al in al, this is y e Gospel, this is that fountaine open for y e 
inhabitants of Juday & Jerusalem for sin & for vncleanenes : Zack. 
13, 1, & this is the well, of w ch y e wells vnder y e ould testament 
were sertaine tipes, this same wel must be kepte open, if y e Philistins 
ffille it w th earth, w th y e earth of there owne inuentions, those y* are y e 
seruants of Isaack, true beleuers, y e seruants of the Lorde, must open 
y e wels againe ; this is y e light y* houldeth forth a greate light, y* is 
Jesus Ch. for he is y* greate light y* lighteneth euery one y* cometh into 
y e world, John, 1, 9, & if we meane to keepe Ch, we must houlde forth 
this light. 

Ob : It may be heare demanded, is there noe thinge to be houlden 
forth in pointe of Justification, but onely y e righteousnes of y e Lorde 
Jesus Ch, may there not be a reuelation of some worke of sanctification, 
& from y*, may not we be carryed to Ch Jesus, & soe come to beleeue 
in y e Lorde Jesus Ch, must Ch be al in this point of Justification ? 

A: Truly both in y e pointe of Justification, & y e knowledge of 
this our Justification by faith, there must be noe thinge in y e world 
reuealed but Ch Jesus, none other doctrine vnder heauen able to 
Justifie any, but mearely y e reuelation of y e Lorde Jesus Ch. I am 
not ashamed of the Gospel, saith Paule, for it is y e power of God to 
saluation, Rom. 1, 16, how ? for in it y e righteousnes of God is reuealed : 
soe it could not be a doctrine w th power to conuirte a soule, if y e 
righteousnes of y e Lorde were not reuealed : therefore when the Lorde 
is pleased to conuirte any soule to him, he reuealeth not to him some 
worke, & from y 1 worke, carryeth him to Ch, but there is noe thinge 
reuealed but Ch when Ch is lifted vp, he draweth all to him, that 
belongeth to y e election of grace ; if men thinke to be saued, because 
they see some worke of sanctification in them, as hungering & thirsting 
& y e like, if they be saued, they are saued w tb out the Gospel. No, 
noe, this is a couenant of workes, for in the couenant of grace noething 
is reuealed but Ch, for our righteousnes ; & soe for y e knowledge of 
our iustification by faith, noethinge is reuealed to a soule but onely Ch, 
& his righteousnes freely giuen, it was y e very grace of God y* appear- 


ed, y l same appefition whereby y e soule coraeth to knowe y* he is 
Justified, y e obiect of it is Ch freely giuen, when y e loueing kindenes 
of Ch appeared, in y e 3 Titus 5, not by workes of righteousnes, &c, 
they are laide aside, & y e Lorde reuealeth onely to them y e righteous- 
nes of himselfe giuen freely to y e soule, if men haue reuealed to them 
some worke of righteousnes in them selues, as loue to y e bretheren & 
y e like, & heare vpon they come to be assured they are in a good estaite : 
this is not y e assurance of faith, for faith hath Ch reuealed for y e obiect, 
therefore if y e assurans of ones Justification be by faith as a worke, it is 
not gospel. 

Ob : It may be further demanded, must not any sanctification in y e 
gospel be pressed vpon those that are y e childeren of God, but onely as 
it doth come from Jesus Ch y e roote, & as he worketh it in those y* 
are true beleuers. 

A: Not in y e gospel. Sanctification must be preached noe other 
way. al duties of sanctification pressed vpon y e childeren of God, must 
be soe vrged, as w th all it be declaired y* they growe from the roote 
Jesus Ch., worke out yo r saluation w th feare & trimbleing Phil. 2, 12 ; 
it is he y t worketh in you both to wil & doe of his good pleasure ; 
this is y e couenant of Grace, y e Lorde Jesus Ch wil be our sanctifi- 
cation, & worke sanctification in vs & for vs. A new harte wil I 
giue yow, & a new spirit, & they shal walke in my statute & iudge- 
ments to doe them. Ezek. 36, 26, 27. I wil forgiue there sins, & 
wrighte my law in there harts & inwarde p tes ; If works be soe pressed 
as if a beleuer had power in him selfe to worke, it killeth y e spirit 
of Gods childeren, put any worke of sanctification in a legal phraime 
& it killeth him ; y e law killeth but it is y e spirit y t quickens, y* is 
y e gospel in w ch the spirit of God is conuayed, when God speaketh 
he speaketh y e wordes of eternal life, & Peter sath to Ch, whether 
shal we goe, for w th y e is y e wordes of eternal life, therefore ought noe 
workes of sanctification to be vrged vpon the seruants of God, soe as if 
they had a power to doe it, it wil kille y e soule of a man, & it oppresseth 
the pore soules of y e saints of God; Ch saith, Math : 11, 28, come vnto 
me al ye y* labour & are heauie ladened, &c, as longe as we are 
absent from Ch, we are heauie ladened, but when Ch pulleth vs to him- 
selfe, & takes our burthen vpon him, then we finde ease. Learne of me, 
for I am meeke & lowly, & yow shal finde rest to yo r soules. Ch was 
soe meeke & lowly, as content to receiue al fro the Father, & soe 
must we be meeke & lowly, & contente to receiue al from Ch, if y e 
duties be pressed any other way, they wil be burthens that neither we 



nor our fathers wil be able to beare ; therefore if we meane to keepe y e 
Lorde Jesus Ch, we must keepe open this fountaine, & hould forth this 
light, if there be a night of darkenes, y e feare saith the Spirit of God, is 
in the night. 

2. The second action y* we must pforme, & y e seconde way we 
must take is, when enymies to y e truth oppose y e way of God, we 
must lay loade vpon them, we must kille them w th the worde of y e 
Lorde, Hos : 6, 5, y e Lorde hath giuen true beleuers power ouer 
y e nations, & they shal breake them apeces, as shiuered w th a rod of 
Iron ; & what rodde of Iron is this, but y e worde of y e Lorde, & 
such honour haue al his saints, Psa. 149, 9. y e Lorde hath maide vs of 
thrushing instruments, w th teeth, & we must beate y e hils into chafe, 
Isa. 41, 15, therefore in y e feare of God handel y e sworde of y e spirit, 
y e worde of God, for it is a too edged sworde, & Heb. 4, 12, this worde 
of God cuteth men to y e very harte. 

Ob : It may be obiected y* there wil be but littel hope of victory for 
y e seruants of God, because y e childeren of God are but few, & those y* 
are enymies to y e Lorde & his truth are many ? 

A: Trew, I must confes & acknowlege y e saints of God are few, 
they are but a littel flocke, & those y* are enymies to y e Lorde, not 
onely Pagonish, but Antechristian, & those y* runne vnder a couenant 
of workes are very strong: but be not afraide y e battel is not y ors , but 
Gods ; ye know y e speech rendered by the pfet when soe many 
came ag* Joshua ; Josh. 23, 10, one of yow shal chase athousand, &c. 
if we should goe in our owne strength, we should be swallowed vp, 
many a time may Israel say, if it had not beene for the Lorde, we had 
beene swalowed vp, if it weare not for y e Lorde of Hoasts, there were 
littel hope of p r uaileing by y e saints, but out of y e mouthes of babes 
& sucklins, God ordaineth him praise, to stil the enymies, y e Lorde 
wil magnyfy his name in y e saints, & though Gods people be but few, 
yet it is y e Lorde of hoasts, that God of heauen & earth, y* layed y e 
foundation vpon y e seaes, & in comparison of home all y e nations are as 
noe thinge, Jehouah is his name, that greate God ; it is Micael that 
fighteth w th his angels ; therefore though the people be few, yet it is al 
one for God to saue whether w th many or those w ch haue noe 

Ob : 2 It wil be obiected y* diuers of those who are opposite to y e 
waies of grace, & free covenant of grace, they are wonderous holy 
people, therefore it should seeme to be a very vncharitable "thing in y e 
seruants of God to condemne such, as if soe be they were enymies to 


the Lorde & his truth, whils they are soe exceeding holy & stricte in 
there way. 

A : Bretheren, those vnder a couenant of workes, y e more holy they 
are, y e greater enymies they are to Ch, Paule acknowledgetli as much 
in y e 1 Gal : he sath he was zelus acording to y Law, & y e more he 
founde in a legal way, y e more he p r secuted the waies of grace, 13 & 
14 Act. where al deuout people were such as did expel Paule out of 
Antioch, & out of all y e coasts. It maketh noe matter how seemingly 
holy men be, according to the law, if they doe not know y e worke of 
grace & waies of God ; they are such as truste to there righteousnes ; 
they shal dye, sath y e Lorde, Ezek. 33, 13: what a cursed righteous- 
nes is that, y* thrusteth out y e righteousnes of Ch, the Apostle 
speaketh they shal transforme themselues into an Angel of light, 
2 Cor. 11, 14, therefore it maketh noe matter, how holy men be, y* 
haue noe acquaintance w th Ch. Seest thou a man wise in his owne 
conceite, more hope there is of a foole then of him. Pro. 26, 12. We 
know (thorow y e mercy of God) as soone as Ch cometh into y e soule, 
he maketh y e creatuer noe thinge, therefore if men be soe holy, & soe 
stricte, & zelus, & trust to themselues & there righteousnes, & knoweth 
not y e waies of grace, but opposeth free grace ; such as those haue not 
y e Lorde Jesus Ch, therefore set vpon such w th y e sworde of the spirit, 
y e worde of God. 

Ob : 3. It wil be obiected, y* y e childeren of God should be a meeke 
generation, it is an exhortation y e Apostle giueeth, Jam. 3, 13. 

A : ffor to fight corragiously, in y e cause of God, & to be meeke, 
they are diuers, but not opposits, they may stande very wel togeather : 
yow know when Steuen was in a meeke phrae, for y e spirit of God was 
in him, and was in a calme quiet frame & disposetion : & yow see 
what a vehement speech Steuen maide to y e enymies of God, Act 
7, 51, it cuteth them to y e very harte, yet Steuen, a meeke man, he 
prayeth for his enymies in a meeke phrame of spirit, & yet vehement 
to those that oppose y e waies of God. Ch was meeke, I am suer yow 
wil say, & he sath, learne of me, for I am meeke and lowly, yet when 
he cometh to those that did oppose y e waies of grace, yow are the 
childeren of y e Deuel, Joh. 8, 44, & in the 23 d Math : 23, woe be to 
yow, Scribs, Pharises, hipocrits, a vehement speech he vseth, yet Ch y e 
meekest y* euer was, therefore yow may eaysyly beate downe thos 
houlds by y e sworde of y e spirit, y e worde of God. 

Ob : 4 It wil be obiected this wil cause a combustean in Church & 


A : I must confesse & acknowlege it wil doe soe, but what then, 
did not Ch come to sende fier vpon y e earth? Luke 12, 49, & what is 
it, y* it were already kindled, he desireth it were kindled, & it is y° 
desier of y e spirit of y e saints y* this fier were kindled ; is not this 
that that is pfesyed of, Isa. 9, 5. This battel betweene Micael & his 
Angels, y e battel betwene Gods people & those that are not, thos 
battels of Chtians must be burneing, and what is it, but y e burneing 
of y e worde of God, accompanyed by y e Holy Goast, this prophisied 
of in Mai. 4, 1, y e day shal come y* shal burne like an ouen, & al 
y e wiced shal be stuble, &c. this is y e terible day of y e Lorde, when 
the gospel is thus helde forth, this [is] a terible day to al those y* 
doe not obey y e Gospel of Ch. Bretheren, we know that y e whore 
must be burnt, Reu : 18, it is not shaueing of her heade, & paire- 
ing her nails, & changeing her rayment, that wil serue y e turne, but 
this whore must be burnt. Many speake of y e external burneing of 
Rome, but I am suer there must be a spiritual burneing, & y* burne- 
ing by y e fier of y e Gospel. This way must Antech be consumed. 
2 Thes: 2. why should we not further this fier, who knoweth how 
soone those Jues may be conuirted, Reu: 18. 19. chap, after y e burne- 
ing of y e whore follows Alleluia, a praiseing of y e Lorde in Hebrue ; 
we knowe not how soone y e conuirtion of the Jues may come, & if 
they come, they must come by y e downefal of Antech, & if we take 
him away, we must burne him, therefore neuer feare combustions & 

Ob : Lastly it may be obiected ag* thos cumbats & fightings, if 
minesters & Chtians be soe downeright, & soe striue & contende, & 
houlde forth y e worde of God, w th such violens & power, this wil be a 
meanes to discorage those y* are weake Chtians, & doe them a greate 
deale of hurte. 

A : Let y e Gospel be neuer soe clearely helde forth, it neuer hurteth 
y e childeren of God, noe it doth them a greate deale of good, y* same 
very fier of the worde, y* burneth vp al vnbeleefers, & al vnder a 
couenant of workes, y* Gospel doth exceedingly cleare Gods childeren. 
Mai : 4, 2. then y e sonne of righteousnes shal come w th healeing in his 
wings, &c. & in Math. 3, Ch when he handeleth y e gospel, he layeth 
y e axe to y e roote of y e tree, & what followeth hearevpon, he will purge 
his flore, layeth y e axe to y e roote, & cuteth downe al hipocrits, & those 
y* builde vpon any thinge besids Ch, & then he wil purge his Church, 
& gather y e wheate into y e garner, true beleuers wil come in ; vn- 
beieuers & hipocrits, chaffe wil be al burnt vp : soe y e same Gospel 


y* is a worde of terror to wiced men, is a greate cumforte to all that 
beleeue in y e Lorde Jesus Ch. 

3. Thirdly, if we meane to keepe y e Lorde Jesus Ch, we must be 
wiling to suffer any thinge, yow knowe in 12 Reu : 11, the saints of 
God ouer came, & ouer came by y e bloode of y e Lambe, y* is, by y e 
Lorde Jesus Ch, & worde of y e testimony, y* is, the Gospel, & they 
loue not there liues to death, y* .is, if we wil ouercome, we must not 
loue our liues, but be wiling to be killed like sheepe ; it is vnpossible 
to houlde forth y e truth of God w th external peace & quietnes, if we 
will p r uaile, if we be cauled, we must be wiling to lay downe our liues, 
& shal ouercome by soe doeing ; Samson slew more at his death, then 
in his life, & soe we may puaile more by our deathes, then by our 

4. ffourthly, if we wil keepe Ch, we must consider y* we can not 
doe any of this, by any strength y* is in our selues, but we must con- 
sider y* it is y e Lorde y* must helpe vs & acie in vs, & worke in vs, & 
y e Lorde must doe all. When as Zerobabel & Joshua & y e people 
came out of captiuity to builde y e temple, they al take there rest, & 
leteth y e temple alone, til y e Lorde come & stirre vp y e spirit of 
Zerobabel & Joshua & y e people, & then they falie of building : soe 
(bretheren) we may thinke to doe greate matters ; and lye quiatly & 
calmely, & let y e enymies of y e Church doe what they wil, till y e 
Lorde stirre vs vp ; y e Judges stired not, til the spirit of God came 
vpon them, & then they did wonderful things, soe in some measure we 
must looke for y e spirit of y e Lorde to come vpon vs, & then we shal 
doe mighty things thorow y e Lorde, it is y e Lorde himselfe y* must 
effecte & doe all : this for the first exhortation, not to suffer the Lorde 
Jesus Ch to be taken violently away from vs, wheresoe euer we Hue, 
we shall finde some y* goe vnder a couenant of workes, & those are 
enymies to Ch, & y e flesh wil luste ag* y e spirit, &c. Gal: 5, 17, & soe 
we shal finde it in our spirits, those y* are in y e flesh, mind the things 
of y e flesh, Rom : 8, 5 ; therefore, wheresoe euer we are, we shal haue 
Ch taken away from vs by violence, if y e Lorde be not pleased to giue 
vs to use those meanes. 

Vse 2. The second vse of exhortation, we y* are vnder a couenant 
of grace, let vs all haue a caire soe to carry our selues y* we may haue 
y e psens of the Lorde, y* he may not depte from vs ; for if y e Lorde 
depte, then we shal haue cause of morneing indeede. Y* we may 
carry and behaue our selues, as y e Lorde Jesus Ch, who is amongst vs, 
y* he may stil be more & more p'sent w th vs. 


1. We must haue a spetial caire, in the first place, y* as any of vs 
is interested w th the gospel, soe to deale faithfully in the despenceing 
of it, whether we be in place or not in place, whether bretheren or 
sisters, being maide ptakers of the grace of God, being maide stuards, 
we are to be founde faithful, therefore let vs haue a caire to deale 
faithfully, & hould forth y e truth, as it is in the Lorde Jesus Ch, & 
then we shal finde y e Lorde to be p r sent w th vs, Math : 28, 28. Be- 
hould I am w th yow, if y° teach y*, y* he hath comanded, he wil be 
w tb them, therefore in y e feare of God haue a caire, y t we doe renounce 
y e hidden things of dishonesty, & we doe not vse any deceate. Let vs 
not be as some y* doe corrupte y e worde, but as in senserity, in y e sight 
of God, as in Jesus Ch : soe let vs speake, let vs all haue a caire to 
hould forth Ch, & not runne into generalyties. If Ch vanish away in 
a cloude, y e saints of God stande gaiseing, & haue sad harts, when we 
are to houlde forth any truth, let vs deale faithfully in this kinde, & y e 
Lorde wil be abundantly p r sent, we shal finde he shal be a Saueour 
where soe euer he cometh either of life or death, & if we be faithful in 
a few things, he wil make vs rulers ouer many, Math. 25 : therefore if 
we meane to inioy y e p r sence of Ch, & stil to haue more of y e Lorde 
Jesus Ch, & haue Ch to come & say, good & faithful seruant, & be- 
stowe more of his p r sens amongst vs, let vs be faithful in despenceing 
any worde of truth. 

2. Secondly, let vs haue a caire, al of vs, y* we loue one an other ; 
this is my comandement y* ye loue one an other, as I haue loued yow, 
1 Joh. 3, 23 : y e Lorde Ch delighteth in a loueing people, when the saints 
of God loue one an other, and are wiling to lay downe there Hues one for 
an other, y e Lorde delighteth in it, Ch was loueing when he was vpon 
the earth, if the desiples were in danger at any time, he came & sup- 
ported them, & helped them, when they were poased by the scribs '& 
pharises sometims he came & answered for them. Act 2, 15. sum 
mocked at them, then Peter stepeth vp & sath, thos are not drunke as 
ye suppose, he loued them and answered for them. Moses seeing an 
Egiptian striueing w th his brother, he came & killed him. Act. 7, 24, 
25, 26 ; soe Ch puteth into his people a loueing spirit, therefore let vs 
haue a caire y* we doe not allienate our harts one from an other, be- 
cause of diuers kindes of expressions, but let vs keepe y e vnity of the 
spirit in the bonde of peace, let vs haue a caire to loue one an other, & 
then y e Lorde Jesus Ch wil be stil more & more p r sent. 

3. Thirdly, let vs haue a caire that we doe shew our selues holy in 
all maner of good conuirsation, 1 Pet. 1, 5, both in priuat & publique, 


& in all our carriges & conuersations, let vs haue a caire to indeuour 
to be holy as y e Lorcle is ; let vs not giue ocaytion to those y* are come- 
ing on, or manyfestly opposite to y e waies of grace, to susspect y e 
way of grace, let vs carv our selues that they may be ashamed to 
blaime vs ; let vs deale vprightly w th those with home we haue ocaytion 
to deale, & haue a caire to guide our famylis, & to pforme duties y 1 
belonge to vs ; & let vs haue a caire y r we giue not ocaytion to others 
to say we are libertines, or Antenomens, but Chtians ; let vs expresse 
y e vertue of him y* hath cauled vs, & then he wil manifest his p r sence 
amongst vs, John. 14, if yow loue me I wil manyfest my selfe to yow ; 
he wil crowne his owne worke w th his p r sence, he wil come into his 
garden, & eate of the pleasant fruts ; therefore let vs carry our selues, 
soe y* we may haue noe cause of mourning, for if y e Lorde be absente, 
there is cause of morneing. 

Vse. 3. The third vse for reproofe, & first it serueth to condemne al 
such as in there fastings & dayes of humiliation doe principlely & aboue 
al seeke for blesseings to be pcured, & euels to be remooued, and this is 
y* that they are first carryed vnto, this is not y e maine matter, y e maine 
matter is, the absens of y e Lorde ; therefore if we wil doe as we ought 
to doe, and pforme this duty aright way, we must first of all be carryed 
vnto the Lorde Jes. Ch: they may pcure greate blesseings from y e 
Lorde, & yet y e Lorde neuer accept of them, they may pray to y e 
Lorde, & fast & humble themselues, & y e Lorde may heare them & 
pdon them. & turne away his wrath ; & yet for all y 1 , neuer saue them, 
how did the Lorde carry himselfe towards the people of y e Jues, yow 
know the Lorde gaue them his p'sence in the w T ildernes, & gaue them 
an extraordinary signe of his p r sence, they had a piller of fier by night 
& cloude by day, & the Lorde did cause y e angel of his p r sence to goe 
before them, & gaue them his good spirit to instructe them', Isa. 63. & 
yet for al y\ y e body of them was hipocrits, & y e Lorde sware in his 
wrath, y* they should neuer enter into his rest, what is y e matter, they 
pcure vnto themselues things from God & y e blesseing of God ; but 
they did not get y e Lorde himselfe, they had y e .Angel of Gods p r sence 
to goe before them, they had not y e Lorde Jesus Ch in them, they had 
y e spirit to instructe them, but not y e spirit to dwel in them, they pcure 
to themselues blesseings from y e Lorde, but they neuer get the Lorde 
of blesseings ; therefore al those y* doe turne vnto those blessein£s in 
y e first place, & doe not first of al turne vnto the Lorde, wil neuer be 
maide ptakers of y e Lorde. 

2. The second soi'te to be condemned, are all such as doe set them- 


selues ag* y e Lorde Je. Ch, such are y e greatest enymies to y e staite y* 
can be, if they can haue there wils, yow see what a lamentable estaite 
both church & coman welth wil be in, then we haue neede of morne- 
ing, the Lorde he cannot indure those y l are enymies to himselfe & 
people, & vnto y e good of his church, such shal neuer be able to p r uaile 
ag* the Lorde. What wil be the end & Issue, doe yow thinke, if people 
doe set them selues ag* the waies of grace & y e Lorde Jesus Ch ? this will 
be y e Issue of it, those that oppose y e waies of grace, & resist the truth 
they shall waxe worse & worse, 2 Tim. 3, & they may happily pseede 
a great way, but y e time wil come that they shal goe noe further, & by 
reason of y e agitations of things, it wil come to passe, y* y e truth wil be 
cleared, & there follye wil be manyfested to al men, soe sath y e Apos- 
tle ; it is a harde thinge to kicke ag* the pricks. Act. 9, 5, who soe euer 
striueeth ag* y e Lorde can not psper ; if men or women doe faule vpon 
y e Lord Jes. Ch they breake, but if y e Lorde Jes. Ch doe faule vpon 
them, he wil breake them all to pouder, if any faule vpon Ch, & they 
will not let Ch alone ; but faule vpon them w ch houlde him forth, & wil 
abuse them, & be buffeting y e Lorde Je Ch, there is neuer a stroke they 
giue, but maketh wounds in there consciences, but if they wil be 
heaueing out Ch, they shal finde it y e heauiest stone that euer was, it 
wil faule & breake them all to pouder, if people set themselues ag* y a 
Lorde, & y e waies of grace, & his truth, this wil be y e issue of it on 
there pte, either those y* set [them] selues ag* y e waies of God, y a wil 
be put to silence by y e light y* cumeth from Ch., y* they wil be soe con- 
uinsed, y* they shal not be able to speake any more in there cause, as 
Ch put downe those that came ag* him, y* they durst aske him noe more 
questions, & there cumeth such a power from y e worde helde forth by 
y e saints of God, y* it wil strike a feare into there harts y* oppose it. 
What ailest thou, O Jordan, y* y e fluds goe backe, tremble thou earth at 
y e p r sens of y e Lorde, y a that cum to take Ch, they fel backe, there 
cumeth a deuine power from y e Lorde, & turneth them al backe, y e 
Lorde wil strike w th trimbleing those y* cum ag* Jerusalem, or if they 
be not put to silence, it wil come to passe in time, they wil faule into 
wonderful stronge passions, & wil quaril w th y e saints of God : it was 
y e caise of Zedekiah & Micaiah, y e question was w eh of them had y e 
spirit of God, he came & smott y e pfet vpon the cheeke, but God's 
spirit is noe smiteing spirit. Steuen conuinsed y e Jues, & did by y e 
power of y e Holy Goast, euidence his cause to be y e cause of God, 
and y a were not able to resist y e spirit by w ch he spake, & they al came 
& runne vpon him, why doe yow resiste y e Holy Goaste ? what maketh 


y e sin ag 4 y e Holy Goaste, but enlightening, & seting them selues ag 4 y e 
waies of truth, & psecuting it in malis & wrath ; it is a feareful thing 
to faule into y e hands of y e liueing God. Heb. 10, 31, for our God is a 
consumeing tier, Heb. 12, 29, let euery one (in the feare of God) haue 
a caire, how they set themselues ag* y e truth & waies of God, & y e 
waies of Jesus Ch, for we must al appeare before y e Judgement seate 
of Ch. 2 Cor. 5, 10. 

Vse 4. The last vse shal be for consolation, (howsoeuer this be a 
day of humiliation, yet y e apprehention of Gods grace, and mercy, & 
goodnes, it worketh y e kindlyest humiliation, sins are to be considered & 
looked vpon, but sins ag 4 y e God of grace may melte one : in y* day I 
will power vpon them y e spirit of grace, & they shall morne, &c. Zack : 
12, 10. therefore y e last vse shal be for consolation,) & it may serue to 
cumforte the childeren of God, w ch doe houlde forth y e Lorde Jesus 
Ch, & doth desier y* y e Lorde Je Ch might be receiued into churches, 
into phamylies, into y e harts of y e people of God. (bretheren) those y 4 
walke this way, are y e greatest freinds vnto y e church & vnto coman 
welth ; they intende, & labour, & indeauour to bringe in y 9 Lorde 
Je Ch, & if Ch be p r sent, there wil be noe greate cause of fasting & 
morneing : therefore let me (in y e name of God) incorage al those y 4 
houlde forth the waies of grace & doe indeauour to make knowne 
y e Lorde Jesus Ch. Bretheren & Sisters endeuour to bringe Ch into y e 
harts of people, & then yow shal make y e Church happie, & yo r selues 
shal be happie ; lifte vp yo r heads O ye gaits, &c. Psal. 24, 7, bringe 
the Lorde Je Ch not onely into thy howse, but into thy chamber of him 
y 4 did beget yow, endeauour it for this is God's way, & it is a way to 
bringe peace & happynes, both to church & coman welth. 

Secondly, it may cumforte y e saints of God in this respect, y 4 seeing 
y 4 the Lorde Je Ch his absence is y e cause of fasting & morneing, this 
is a cumforte to y e childeren of God, y 4 cum what wil come, they shal 
be in a happy estaite, they shal be blessed, suppose those that are 
Gods childeren should loose there howses, & lands, & wiues, & freinds, 
& loose y e actings of y e gifte of grace, & loose' y e ordenanses, yet they 
can neuer loose y e Lorde Je Ch ; this [is] a greate cumforte to Gods 
people : suppose the saints of God should be banished, depriued of al 
the ordenanses of God, y 4 were a harde caise (in sum respect) for we 
had better pte w th al, then y e ordenanses ; but if y e ordenanses should 
be taken away, yet Ch can not, for if John be banished into an Hand 
Reu. 1, 9, 10, & y e spirit cum vpon him on y e Lord's day, there is 
amends for the ordenanses, amends for banishment, if we loose y e 



ordenanses for God, he wil be ordenanses to vs. Therefore let y e saints 
of God be incoraged, though they should loose al they haue, yet they 
being maide one in Ch, & Ch dweling in there harts by faith, they may 
be pswaded noethinge can seperate them from Ch. Rom. 8, 38, 39 : 
therefore let y e saints of God reioyse y* they haue y e Lorde Je Ch, & 
there names written in y e booke of life, be glad & reioyce, for greate is 
yo r rewarde in heauem 

The President announced in the following language 
the death of two Resident Members of the Society, — 
Dr. Thomas H. Webb, and George R. Russell, Esq.,: — 

Dr. Thomas Hopkins Webb was graduated at Brown Uni- 
versit}^ in 1821, and received the degree of M.D. at Harvard 
in 1825. Residing in Providence, Rhode Island, he was not 
long after elected a member of the Rhode-Island Historical 
Society, and was for many years their Secretary. Between 
1830 and 1839, he addressed several communications to the 
Royal Society of Northern Antiquaries on the inscription 
rocks of New England, which are published in the " Antiqui- 
tates Americans " and in the Memoirs of the Society, with a 
description of the " Skeleton in Armor," found in Fall River, 
Mass., and supposed to be that of an ancient Northman. Af- 
ter his removal to Boston he was connected with the pub- 
lishing-house of Marsh, Capen, Lyon, and Webb. He was 
elected a member of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 
September 28, 1848. In 1850 and 1851 he was engaged 
as Secretary to the Hon. John R. Bartlett, United-States 
Commissioner on the Mexican-Boundary Survey. He com- 
piled the first Report to the General Assembly of Rhode 
Island on the registration of births, marriages, and deaths 
for 1852-53. He was afterwards engaged as Secretary of 
the New-England Emigrant Aid Society, and for the last two 
or three years as Secretary of the Massachusetts Institute of 
Technology. He died in Quincy, Aug. 2, 1866. 


George R. Russell, Esq., was graduated at Brown Uni- 
versity in 1821 (in the same class with Dr. Webb), and 
received the degree of LL.D. in 1849. He published an ora- 
tion before the Rhode-Island Alpha of the Phi Beta Kappa 
Society in 1849, an Address before the Norfolk Agricultural 
Society in 1851, an Address before the Massachusetts Char- 
itable Mechanic Association in 1853, and a Letter to the Mass 
Meeting at Providence, Sept. 10, 1856, in opposition to the 
demands of the slave-power. 

The President then submitted from the Standing Com- 
mittee the following resolution : — 

Resolved, That this Society have learned with deep regret the 
deaths of their esteemed and respected associates, Dr. Thomas H. 
Webb and George R. Russell, Esq., and that the President be requested 
to make the usual appointment for the preparation of memoirs of them 
for our volume of Proceedings. 

The Rev. Charles Brooks communicated a memoir 
of our late associate Joseph Willard, Esq., stating that 
it had been furnished by the immediate family of the 




Joseph Willard, the youngest son of Joseph and Mary 
(Sheafe) Willard, was born on the 14th of March, 1798, in 
Cambridge, Massachusetts, where his father, then President 
of Harvard College, had resided for several years. He was 
descended from a family well known in Massachusetts history, 
almost from the first settlement of the colony. Simon Wil- 
lard, the first of his name in this country, and of the fifth 
generation before the subject of this memoir, came to Boston 
in May, 1634, at the age of thirty years, from Horsemonden, 
in the county of Kent, where, and in the adjoining county 
of Sussex, the family name had been established as far back 
as the eleventh century. He was a man of standing and 
substance in his native place : but the strong bond of a 
common faith drew him to share, with the Puritan colonists 
ol Massachusetts, their lot of toil and privation for the re- 
ward of civil and religious liberty ; and he soon acquired the 
confidence of the infant community and its rulers. With a 
nature in which a certain grave reserve, consonant with the 
temper of the times, and habitual moderation of manner and 
thought, were most prominent, he seems to have possessed 
great firmness of purpose, a sober energy, and a marked 


enterprise of character, which made him a leader among 
his new associates. In little more than a year after his arri- 
val in the colony, he led a slender band of hardy pioneers 
who settled the town of Concord, and, in November of the 
same year, was sent to the assistance of the company who 
were attempting to establish themselves at the mouth of the 
Connecticut River. 

Identified with the interests of the town he had founded, 
he was chosen to represent it in the popular branch of the 
Government, the House of Deputies, in 1636, the third year 
of its existence, and was re-elected, every year except three, 
until 1654. In this year he became a member of the House 
of Assistants, the upper branch of the Legislature ; and this 
position he held continuously until his death, a period of 
twenty-two years, making a public service as legislator of 
nearly forty years. In 1637 he was appointed Lieutenant- 
Commander, a grade equal to that of Captain under our 
modern system of militia; in 1646, Captain of the town of 
Concord; and in 1653, Major of Middlesex, — in rank second 
only to the commander-in-chief of the forces of the Colony. 
In the early days of the Colony, as in the early days of civ- 
ilization, the several duties of legislator, warrior, and judge 
seem to have naturally united in one person. The last of 
these functions he was soon called to exercise. Appointed 
clerk of the writs, a minor magistracy, in 1641, and member 
of the House of Assistants in 1654, he held judicial office, 
without intermission, until the time of his death. As a mem- 
ber, successively, of the two Houses of government, but 
probably quite as much from his well-known impartiality, we 
find him repeatedly appointed commissioner to settle vexed 
questions of boundary between adjoining towns ; or acting as 
arbitrator in the controversies which inevitably arose in the 
administration of the internal affairs of the towns themselves : 
as in the case of Watertown, in 1654; of Lancaster, in 1656 ; 
and of Marlborough, in 1670; and usually on the petition of 


the contestants themselves. He seems, indeed, never to have 
been wholly freed from public service after the first year of 
his arrival. 

In consequence of the earnest request of the people of 
Lancaster, whose affairs he had been called upon as commis- 
sioner to oversee, he removed from Concord to this place in 
1658, receiving from the Government a grant of land of 
several acres for a homestead. For nearly forty years, he 
had held the position of a frontier commander, constantly on 
the alert in watching over the safety of the sparse settle- 
ments of his county against the surrounding savages, — an 
employment varied only when he was called to take part in 
the general military operations of the Colony against the In- 
dians, in the successive wars which had arisen, — when the 
sudden peril of King Philip's war, menacing the very exist- 
ence of the Colony, called him in 1675, for the last time, into 
active service. He had always earnestly urged, and pursued 
with practical success, a conciliatory policy towards all the 
accessible native tribes, and was rewarded by the security 
which their friendship gave to the colonists, whom they 
shielded against the fiercer tribes by whom they were in 
turn surrounded. But, in the general uprising under King 
Philip's subtle and widely extended influence, these barriers 
were swept away before the rising tide of savage attack; 
and Major Willard was summoned from the court he was 
then presiding over, at the advanced age of seventy years, 
to lead the Middlesex militia, and drive back the foe from the 
exposed towns of his district. This he not only accomplished 
successfully, but, leading his force by a rapid movement a 
distance of fifty miles through the wilderness to the town of 
Brookfield, surprised the Indians, who, secure of their prey, 
were attacking that remote outpost, and relieved the dis- 
tressed garrison, and, after some farther movements, averted 
the danger to the settlements in this quarter. The campaign 
was early renewed the next year, keeping him incessantly 


busy to the last ; for, in the interval of active hostilities, his 
judicial and legislative duties engrossed his whole time, and 
he held a term of the court until within less than a week 
before his decease. Death literally found him with his har- 
ness on. He died April 24, 1676, amid the general sorrow of 
the community. 

His second son, the Eev. Samuel Willard, the next imme- 
diate ancestor in the direct line, was a man distinguished in his 
day, not more for his piety and learning, which won for him 
the position of President of Harvard College, than for firm- 
ness, tempered by great gentleness, — for warmth of affection, 
strong sense, and a clear, vigorous understanding. Born in 
1639, in the town of Concord, Massachusetts, shortly after its 
settlement by his father, he entered, after graduating at Har- 
vard College, on study for the ministry, and was settled at 
the then frontier town of Groton, in response to the urgent 
prayer of the people. After the destruction of the town in 
1676 by the Indians, he removed to Boston, and became pastor 
of the Old South Church, which position he retained untiL 
his death ; with so strong an attachment to his charge, that 
when, in the year 1701, he was chosen President of the Col- 
lege at Cambridge, he declined to accept the title on the con- 
dition of quitting his parish and removing to that town, and 
accordingly received the appointment, and undertook the 
duties of the office, with the title only of Vice-President, — 
the letter of the law, requiring the President to reside at 
Cambridge, being thus satisfied. He retained his pastoral 
charge till the last. He was a voluminous theological writer; 
and a large number of his discourses were published during 
his lifetime. The most Elaborate of his productions was a 
work entitled " The Compleat Body of Divinity," in two hun- 
dred and fifty sermons on the Catechism, originally a series 
of lectures, which were so highly esteemed by his contem- 
poraries, that they were collected and published after his 
death, by his brethren of the clergy. 


But, great as was his reputation for learning, piety, and 
ability, he merits, in our view, a far higher distinction for 
the firmness and courage with which he opposed the terrible 
delusion concerning witchcraft, then spreading over the coun- 
try like an epidemic, against whose influence the most eminent 
persons in the community were not proof. While judges, gov- 
ernors, and divines passively yielded to, where they did not 
actively foment, the gloomy superstition, Mr. Willard boldly 
yet temperately lifted up his warning voice against it, both in 
public and in private, and calmly confronted the storm of ob- 
loquy and misinterpretation which his conduct aroused ; and, 
when the dark hour had passed, the people remembered with 
gratitude the stand he had taken. " It ought never to be 
forgotten," said the Rev. David Pemberton, in the discourse 
preached on the occasion of Mr. Willard's death, " with what 
prudence, zeal, and courage he appeared for the people in 
that dark and mysterious hour when we were assaulted from 
the invisible world, and how signally instrumental he was in 
discovering the cheats and delusions of Satan, which threat- 
ened to stain our land with blood, and deluge it with all man- 
ner of woes." It was in Mr. Willard's church that Chief 
Justice Sewall stood up, and publicly made his manly ac- 
knowledgment of his sorrow for the part he had borne in the 
prosecutions for the imputed crime of witchcraft. President 
Willard died in September, 1707, having resigned his office 
only a month previously, with the consciousness that his end 
was nigh. His portrait, which still hangs in Harvard Hall, at 
Cambridge, presents a marked similarity, in feature and ex- 
pression, to his descendants in the third and fourth genera- 
tions ; and the traits of character* in the earlier and later 
generations were no less strikingly similar. He left a large 
family of children. One of his sons was the Hon. Joaiah 
Willard, for many years the Secretary of the Commonwealth, 
and long affectionately remembered and mentioned as " the 
Good Secretary." 


John Willard, the second son of the Vice-President, and 
the next in the direct line of descent to the subject of this 
memoir, was the only one of the family who left male de- 
scendants bearing the name of Willard. His son, the Rev. 
Samuel Willard, the father of President Joseph Willard, was 
born at Kingston, in the island of Jamaica, in the year 
1705, and was educated in New England, under the care 
and supervision of his uncle, Secretary Willard. Upon grad- 
uating at Harvard College, he entered the ministry, and was 
ordained at Biddeford, in Maine, in the year 1730, and re- 
mained there until his death, in the year 1741, at the early 
age of thirty-six years, leaving a family of four children. 

Joseph Willard, the third of these, was left by his father's 
death, while still quite young, almost to make his own way 
in the world, and, in this hardy school, quickly learned les- 
sons of self-reliance and energy, which matured his naturally 
vigorous powers of mind at an early age. He soon, how- 
ever, found friends and assistance to enable him to enter Col- 
lege, and finished his preparatory studies in less than a single 
year. A successful career as a student, and the high reputa- 
tion he achieved as a critical Greek scholar, and an accurate 
mathematician, brought him so favorably to the notice of the 
government of the University, that he received the appoint- 
ment of tutor immediately on taking his Bachelor's degree, — 
an honor then wholly unprecedented, and which was enjoyed 
by no one afterwards, until the time of President Kirkland. 
In November, 1772, Mr. Willard left Cambridge, and was 
ordained in the ministry of the Congregational Church at 
Beverly, Massachusetts; and here he remained until 1781, 
when he was elected President of Harvard College, by the 
unanimous vote of the Corporation, in concurrence with the 
Overseers. He had married, while at Beverly, Miss Mary 
Sheafe, the daughter of the Hon. Jacob Sheafe, of Ports- 
mouth, New Hampshire. 

He returned to Cambridge on receiving his appointment, 



and assumed the charge of the College, then suffering seri- 
ously, in many ways, from the disturbing effects of our Revo- 
lutionary struggle. A wise administration of its finances, 
coupled with energetic efforts in its behalf and careful gov- 
ernment of the students, drew the institution, in a few 
years, from its position of grave embarrassment to an ad- 
vanced condition of prosperity and successful working. But 
the career of a scholar and teacher is uneventful in inci- 
dents that excite or engage the attention. His labors and 
his victories are proclaimed by no trumpet, nor do they kin- 
dle the world with admiration ; although their quiet influence 
— as unnoticed, yet as pervasive, as the air we breathe — 
in removing the seeds of evil, may have raised the genera- 
tion in which he lived above the dangers of social disorder 
and public corruption. We shall give, therefore, no minute 
analysis of President Willard's character nor special detail 
of the causes of the growth and prosperity which, as years 
rolled on, attended the institution under his charge. His 
best biography is the universal testimony to his integrity 
and worth, not from the historians of the College only, but 
chiefly from those who had been trained under his wise and 
kindly care. His success in this important trust was due 
to the same qualities of character which had made Major 
Simon Willard the trusted counsellor and magistrate ; and 
his son, the Vice-President, the chosen director of youth, — 
the stay and staff of the many who looked to him for counsel 
and guidance. The same unwavering fidelity distinguished 
each ; and death found each still actively laboring in his 
chosen field. In mind, as in person, an inherited similar- 
ity of traits linked the widely severed generations, and pre- 
sented a striking illustration of the true value of a good 
descent. President Willard died in New Bedford, Septem- 
ber 25, 1804, after a short illness, leaving a widow and a 
family of eight children, some of whom had already reached 
the years of maturity. 


Joseph Willard was the youngest child, and was thus, at 
an early age, left under the direction of maternal influence, 
being only six years old at the time of his father's death. The 
work of education, well begun during President Willard's life, 
was equally well continued by his widow, whose admirable 
disposition, in which gentleness and firmness harmoniously 
met, fitted her fully for the duties which the death of her 
husband had devolved upon her ; and the character of the 
child happily seconded the training he received. Gifted by 
nature with a serene and cheerful temperament, a healthy 
and vigorous body, the tasks of childhood pressed but lightly 
upon him, and yet were always conscientiously performed. 
This trait of character — conscientiousness — was his by in- 
heritance for many generations ; and, from this mainspring of 
rectitude, all the good tendencies of which his nature was 
capable received their best development, and, under the ten- 
der and watchful guidance of his excellent mother, gradually 
and surely attained their full growth. 

Besides the favorable influences of his home, he seems to 
have been equally fortunate in his early associates. Among 
these, it is pleasant to call to remembrance the genial and 
scholarly William Ware ; the gentle and brilliantly gifted 
brothers, William and Oliver Peabody ; and others who have 
made for themselves a recognized place in the literature of 
their country, and whose friendship for him grew with their 
growth, and was only strengthened as years advanced. As 
the ordering of our lives proceeds by no effect of chance or 
accident, we may recognize, in the conditions of Mr. Wil- 
lard's youthful training, its fitness to develop the good quali- 
ties of unwavering loyalty to duty, of self-control, and patient 
forbearance, united with the strong religious sense which 
always distinguished him, but which adversity, or a too early 
struggle with the world, in a sterner nature, might have har- 
dened into unamiability and bitterness. After finishing his 
studies at Cambridge and Exeter, mainly under the super- 


vision of his elder brother, Professor Sidney Willard, he en- 
tered Harvard College at the age of fourteen, graduated in 
good standing in 1816, and at once took up his residence in 
Amherst, New Hampshire. Here he entered upon the study » 
of the law in the office of the Hon. Humphrey Atherton, and 
acted at the same time as tutor to that gentleman's three sons, 
of whom one was afterwards United-States Senator. His stay 
here continued somewhat over a year, while he was diligently 
occupied in the study of his chosen profession ; and at the 
same time he formed an intimacy with the well-known anti- 
quary, Mr. John Farmer, then residing in that place. His 
association with Mr. Farmer gave a direction to his tastes and 
pursuits, which bore fruit in several publications from his pen, 
now before the world ; in the various contributions to maga- 
zines, chiefly historical ; and in the lively interest felt in the 
advancement of the objects of this Society, and his life-long 
connection with it. * 

On his return to Cambridge, in the ensuing year, he 
studied for a short time in the office of the Hon. Samuel 
P. P. Fay, Judge of Probate for Middlesex County, and sub- 
sequently entered the Law School, then recently established 
at Cambridge. He graduated at the school in 1819, receiv- 
ing the degree of LL.B., and was at once admitted to the 
bar, beginning practice in Waltham, Massachusetts. From 
this place he removed to Lancaster, Massachusetts, in 1821, 
and remained there actively engaged in the duties of his pro- 
fession for the following ten years. It was a sunny period 
of his life. As the youngest of so large a family, and so 
much the junior of the other members of the household, 
he had stood almost in the relation of a child to his eldest 
brother, Professor Sidney Willard, then married and residing 
in Cambridge. But any leaning, even upon the sure affection 
of mother or brother, was distasteful to his strong sense of 
independence, although necessary during the term of his 
studies ; and, rejoicing in the prospect of sustaining himself 


by his own efforts, he entered with energy and diligent ap- 
plication upon a profession that gradually ensured him an 
honorable support. The place he had selected for his abode 
was one of the most beautiful in all New England. No fairer 
or more fertile valley may meet the eye of the traveller, 
than the one through which wander the placid waters of the 

The character of the Worcester-County Bar, with which Mr. 
Willard was by his residence in Lancaster associated, was of 
no small advantage to him. It seems to us at this day to have 
been unusually rich in talent and culture ; and the friendly 
communion which then subsisted between the members of 
the profession, and which owed its existence not more to simi- 
larity of tastes than to the stricter rules of admission to prac- 
tice then prevailing, made the association at once agreeable 
and valuable. A practitioner was then admitted to the high- 
est grades in the profession only by successive steps, which 
deterred mere adventurers from intruding themselves ; and 
the want of modern facilities of travel rendered the assem- 
bling of the Bar at the stated terms of court special occa- 
sions, giving opportunity for social communion between its 
members after the keen encounters of the court-room were 
over. This intercourse was not without its fruits ; and Mr. 
Willard was soon drawn into literary effort, and in the con- 
genial direction of historical research, in connection with 
other members of the Bar. In the year 1827, Mr. Willard 
was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society ; 
and, soon afterwards, the publication of a magazine was com- 
menced in Worcester, under the auspices of the late William 
Lincoln and C. C. Baldwin, Esquires, chiefty devoted to his- 
torical subjects, and especially the local histories of the towns 
in Worcester County. Some very valuable contributions to 
that department of literature were made during the exist- 
ence of this periodical. Mr. Willard prepared a History of 
Lancaster, and bestowed upon it all that care and thorough- 


ness which marked every undertaking in which he engaged. 
The work was a source of keen pleasure to him, both as open- 
ing a congenial field of inquiry in a direction rich in historical 
interest, and as carrying him back to scenes that were identi- 
fied with his own family history in the settlement of the town 
and its growth, and the thrilling scenes of adventure and 
peril to which its frontier position had exposed it in the days 
of Indian warfare. 

In the year 1826, Mrs. Willard, his mother, died. The 
admirable example and teachings of the life of this excellent 
lady — a life so harmonious in all its proportions, and so com- 
plete in all its relations, that its genial influence was diffused 
almost unconsciously over those about her — produced upon 
her son Joseph, as upon all her children, the happiest results. 

The tranquillity and comparative leisure he enjoyed in the 
earlier years of his residence in Lancaster, were well occu- 
pied by an industrious study of his profession. Upon all 
that related to its history, he bestowed so careful an inves- 
tigation, and his researches were productive of such an 
amount of valuable biographical material, that, in 1829, he 
was appointed by the Bar of Worcester County to prepare 
an historical address, commemorative of its members: which 
he delivered in October of that year, and which was greeted 
with warm and well-deserved praise. Perhaps no reputation 
is so fleeting as that of eminent lawyers. The material 
fruits of their skill are all that are appreciated outside of the 
narrow limits of their profession ; and, within these, their 
fame lives only in the traditional remembrances of the Bar. 
These memorials Mr. Willard garnered, with a careful and 
tender hand, into a well-ordered account, and rescued from 
oblivion what was justly termed u a valuable and interesting 
chapter in the juridical history of Massachusetts." 

During the whole term of Mr. Willard's residence in Lan- 
caster, he was constantly called upon to take part in the local 
affairs of the town, in which he was warmly interested. He 


held in succession numerous town-offices of trust and respon- 
sibility, and, in 1828 and 1829, represented the town in the 
State Legislature. In the year 1829 he became a member 
of the Massachusetts Historical Society, with which he was 
connected until the time of his death, and which held no 
second place in his esteem, from years of familiar intercourse 
and congenial pursuits with many of its honored members. 
From 1835 to 185T he performed the duties of Recording 
Secretary, and from 1857 to 1864 of Corresponding Secre- 
tary, — a period of twenty-nine years ; a charge at first, and 
for many years, full of interest and enjoyment to him, and only 
resigned when his failing strength warned him that the end 
was drawing nigh. Of his success in the performance of his 
duties as an officer of the Society, we need not speak. All 
who had the^opportunity of knowing him in this relation, 
during the many years he held the position, may doubtless 
recall the habitual exercise of those characteristics of fidelity, 
promptitude, and unfailing courtesy, which ever distinguished 

In 1830 he was united in marriage to Miss Susanna H. 
Lewis, only daughter of the late Captain Isaiah Lewis, of 
Boston ; and soon afterwards he removed to Boston, where in 
no long time he became firmly established in business. By 
this change he entered upon a much more extended sphere 
of action in his profession, which soon occupied him fully 
with its engrossing demands. There was at this period, also, 
probably much more to attract in the career of legal ambi- 
tion than the Bar now presents. The greater requirements 
made upon the candidate for admission to the higher grades 
in the profession, repelled the idler or the adventurer, and 
kept away the unworthy. Into a professional brotherhood 
thus constituted, it was a privilege and a pleasure to enter; 
and Mr. Willard's powers were called to their happiest exer- 
cise. It was never in his nature to make a hasty choice of 
his objects in life : from early youth he made his selection, 


with instinctive clearness of perception and a just sense of 
his own qualities ; and a labor once undertaken by him, or 
duties once assumed, were never abandoned. It was a trait 
in marked contrast with the versatile activity common in New 
England, and one that compensated him fully for the absence 
of that versatility, in the wise adaptation of his choice to his 
own nature, and the steady energy which derived from it all 
that it could yield. Success came to him, therefore, when it 
once began to come, rapidly and permanently ; and, although 
he had been comparatively unacquainted in Boston, he made 
all with whom he had business relations his friends, and may 
indeed be said never to have lost a client. His admirable 
constitution made him fully equal to the often exhaustive 
labor which the establishment of an active practice demands. 
In person, Mr. Willard was tall and well- formed ; his 
square, compact frame, upright carriage, and firm step, and 
the ruddy glow of health which his face always bore, struck 
the most unobservant ; and principle, as well as the prompt- 
ings of a vigorous physique, kept him regular and constant 
in his exercise. Skating in winter, and swimming in summer, 
and walking in all seasons, he pursued with energy and en- 
joyment until late in life, — especially the latter, in the White- 
mountains region, where, for nearly a score of years, he sought 
invigoration in the summer. He had so well established him- 
self in the confidence of the community, that, in 1838, he 
received the appointment of Master in Chancery, — an office 
more judicial in its scope then than now, as the entire admin- 
istration of cases in insolvency, since entrusted to a special 
tribunal, were then comprised among its duties, — which 
afforded a most favorable field for Mr. Willard's mind. Quick, 
clear, and keen in his perceptions ; entirely cool, and therefore 
sound, in reasoning, with qualities in every way conducive to 
the formation of reliable conclusions, — his great natural self- 
concentration left him unmoved by merely ingenious argu- 
ment or subtle refinements employed by counsel in the 


complex questions which the department of business we 
have mentioned constantly brought before him. With these 
higher judicial qualities, he possessed an admirable method, 
by which order was sure to attend the discharge of his duties, 
and speed never degenerated into haste. His records were 
always neat, almost precise in manner ; accurate, not formal, in 
their statement : and his habits of exactness and promptitude 
impressed the counsel who practised before him with like 
activity and care. He held this position for nearly five years, 
maintaining his law-£ractice assiduously at the same time. 

But Mr. Willard had not proposed to himself a life merely 
of professional success, nor had he intended to give to literary 
pursuits only the tardy powers which might be his on retire- 
ment from a long life of professional toil, and thus surrender 
tastes which he had actively cultivated in his earlier days of 
comparative leisure. Besides the publications already enumer- 
ated, he had contributed a number of articles to the "Ameri- 
can Monthly Review," a magazine of high tone, established by 
his brother, the late Professor Sidney Willard, and supported 
by some of the ablest writers and most eminent scholars of 
the day. So far as known, these contributions were reviews 
of the lives of John Jay, Gouverneur Morris, and William 
Livingston; of Farmer's Harvard Graduates; of the Journal 
of the Massachusetts Convention ; of the Histories of Maine, 
Maryland, and Plymouth ; and of NewhalPs " Letters of Jun- 
ius," — all indicating the prevailing character of his tastes. 
He had also begun a memoir of Major Simon Willard, which 
was subsequently much enlarged, and finally was published 
in 1858. 

With his moderate views, therefore, of success in life, and 
thorough sense of his own fitness for a scholar's career, it is 
not surprising that he was willing to enter upon an official 
position which would withdraw him at least for a season from 
the active labors of his profession, and the prizes he might 
reasonably hope to gain therein. Wealth of itself did not 



attract him ; and he was incapable of the sacrifice of powers 
of which he was conscious, in the pursuit of objects which did 
not satisfy his nature. 

Moreover, in one and the common meaning of the term, he 
had no ambition, though in its highest sense no man had 
more, — if it is fit so to term the conscientious resolve to use, 
to their fullest extent and in their best exercise, the talents 
with which he was endowed. It was no life of ease that he 
presented to himself, when voluntarily giving a large share of 
his time to scholarly work. His exact,"'minute, painstaking, 
and thoughtful toil has left behind him a monument almost 
heroic, in the self-sacrificing labor by which it was reared. 

Accordingly, in 1840, he accepted the joint appointment, 
with George C. Wilde, Esq., to the office of Clerk of the 
Courts for Suffolk County. By mutual arrangement with this 
gentleman, he undertook the clerkship of the Court of Com- 
mon Pleas, the more active and lucrative post. The position 
of Clerk of the Courts is, in one sense, one of the most re- 
sponsible known in the administration of justice, because to 
his care alone the entire body of litigation, with its multifa- 
rious evidences, is committed ; and he again is solely charged 
with its due conduct, conformably to the exact rules of prac- 
tice, in all their infinite variety. He becomes, therefore, a 
judge only less important than the magistrate on the bench, 
of whom, in his particular department, he is necessarily the 
trusted confidential officer, and often the guide. The branch 
of the law called practice, — in itself a lesser common law, the 
importance of which has repeatedly merited codification, — it 
is peculiarly the function of the clerk to know and to admin- 
ister, alike for the benefit of the judge, the counsel, and the 
suitor. The mastery Mr. Willard obtained over the minute 
and varying learning of this branch of the law, became almost 
proverbial; while the numerous details of the routine of his 
office, which had failed to receive their due attention from 
his predecessors, seemed to fall, under his controlling hand, 


each into its due place, until the whole became an almost 
automatic machine, competent to proceed without the hand 
of the master. In 1855, the office of clerk was made elective 
by the people : but the change, so far as Mr. Willard was con- 
cerned, was merely nominal ; for he was elected with hardly a 
shadow of opposition in 1856, and again in 1861, the recur- 
ring quinquennial period fixed by law for the election. 

His court underwent several changes during his long 
tenure of office, a term of twenty-five years, — from a Court 
of Common Pleas to a special tribunal for Suffolk County, in 
the year 1856; and back again, in 1859, to a court of general 
jurisdiction throughout the Commonwealth. Each change 
brought Mr. Willard into close and confidential relations with 
a new body of judges ; but no diminution of the friendly re- 
spect with which he was regarded, or in their reliance on the 
invaluable assistance of his accurate mind, enriched by the 
long experience of devoted service at his post. 

The leisure which Mr. Willard at first secured for himself 
by his voluntary retirement from active professional life dur- 
ing the period of his strength, justified to some degree in its 
fruits the wisdom of his deliberate choice. He was enabled 
to produce many valuable contributions in the historical de- 
partment of letters ; but his most elaborate effort, already 
alluded to, was published in 1858, under the title of the " Wil- 
lard Memoir." This work, the history of his ancestor, Major 
Simon Willard, had been begun many years previously, and 
at first without any thought of publication. In the genealogi- 
cal researches of his friend, Mr. John Farmer, Mr. Willard was 
often a voluntary assistant ; and, in the progress of these in- 
vestigations, he came to ascertain many interesting particulars 
relative to his own family, and gradually to a thorough ac- 
quaintance with the origin and history of the name of Willard. 
The work was truly a labor of love, but so faithfully and 
elaborately executed, that its publication was strenuously 
urged by the many who had learned of its progress. It was 


accordingly published by subscription in 1858. It has been 
called a " model memoir ; " and not undeservedly, marked as it 
is by entire thoroughness and accuracy, with a close attention 
to the full development of the prominent traits and effective 
presentment of the qualities, not of the subject of the memoir 
alone, but of the day and generation in which he lived, and 
in w T hich the foundations of our civil and religious liberty 
were laid deep and broad. In the year 1853, he was called 
to an equally congenial literary task, one which might be 
said to have belonged to him almost by inheritance as well as 
by taste. On the occasion of the two-hundredth anniversary 
of the settlement of the town of Lancaster, Massachusetts, he 
was invited to deliver a commemorative Address, which was 
to form the chief feature of a day set apart for the festival. 
His former sketch of the town had been elaborated by him 
with characteristic thoroughness, and materials for its illustra- 
tion steadily accumulated for years. The subject went, in his 
view, beyond the mere events of a local history. These were 
interesting, indeed ; for the town, laid out with the liberal 
domain usual in the grants of that day, included within its 
fair proportions many square miles of territory, which had 
since been severed from it, to build up a large family of affili- 
ated townships. But in the annals of this ancient settlement 
were exemplified the whole system of early colonization and 
of town organization, w T hich De Tocqueville regarded as the 
foundation-stone of our free institutions ; and its history drew 
from Mr. Willard a careful, masterly discussion of the subject, 
interwoven with the stirring events of which Lancaster had 
early been the scene, and made the whole a valuable addition 
to a true knowledge of the basis of our political* system. 

About the same time, Mr. Willard commenced writing the 
biography of General Knox, — a w r ork undertaken at the de- 
sire of the family of the General, then represented by his only 
surviving daughter, Madam Thatcher, of Thomaston, Me., 
and upon the urgent solicitation of several friends, — among 


others, the late Hon. Josiah Quincy and Judge "Wilde, — and of 
William Minot, Esq., who, knowing his previous labors in this 
.department of letters, and his accurate habits of mind, judged 
him to be the person most fit for this undertaking. It was a 
literary labor which had long been delayed, but which, from 
the prominence of Enox in our Revolutionary war, his inti- 
mate ties of friendship with General Washington, as well as 
from his pure personal character and lofty patriotism, seemed 
a duty owed to his memory. It was a labor which might well 
have appalled a professed litterateur, much more one who was 
obliged jealously to divide his hours of scholarly leisure with 
the engrossing claims of business. The enormous mass of 
papers, private and official, from which materials for the life 
were to be drawn, were in a state of great disorder, and the 
whole collection had narrowly escaped destruction, — actually 
sustaining serious injury, from the shipwreck of the vessel 
which, some years before, had conveyed them to Boston, by 
which they had been submerged for many hours'; and the 
want of care at the successive hands through which they had 
passed had left them in almost inextricable confusion. Under 
the patient care of the biographer, the whole were reduced 
to an orderly chronological arrangement, and form a moderate- 
sized library of nearly eighty folio volumes. 

As the work progressed, and the admirable traits of Gen- 
eral Knox's character stood out in clear light, Mr. Willard 
warmed into a glow of enthusiasm towards his subject, and 
steadily carried forward the preparation of the Memoir ; un- 
dismayed either by the magnitude of the undertaking, or the 
pittance of time which alone his daily more engrossing offi- 
cial duties allowed him to give to his voluntary task. 

For some years after the commencement of the work, it 
advanced rapidly and prosperously towards completion, and 
five carefully written manuscript volumes attest at once the 
amplitude of the materials and the solid labor bestowed upon 
them; but the fatal inroads of the malady which terminated 


Mr. Willard's life, gradually diminished his power to conclude 
the work, but neither his devotion to it, nor his deep inter- 
est in its achievement. Even to the very last days of his 
life, when months of physical suffering had deprived him of 
power to hold his manuscript for more than a moment at a 
time, he essayed to make the effort to add one more line 
to the pages he had so carefully penned, his indomitable 
will triumphing even over utter bodily exhaustion. 

The Memoir remains unfinished ; but it is now due, as 
well to the hand that wrought so long and so patiently to 
bring it to completion, as to the subject of the work himself, 
that toil so worthily bestowed should not fall to the ground, 
expended in vain. 

Besides these more extended works, Mr. Willard, during 
his connection with this Society, prepared various historical 
papers. The one on " Naturalization in the American Col- 
onies," and on a " Plan for the General Arrangement of the 
Militia of the United States, by General Knox," were among 
his latest offerings. The latter paper was a timely one, called 
forth by the occasions of the late war, then in its earlier 
stage, and contained many suggestions, made practical by 
the experience of General Knox, of great value to the nation 
then and now. With one exception, this was the last publi- 
cation from Mr. Willard's pen. 

The strongly conservative temperament which Mr. Willard 
inherited, existed in him side by side with an equally strong 
independence of nature, that made him almost intolerant of 
views based on mere notions of expediency and concession. 
Bred up as he had been in the ancient school of Federalism, 
he naturally was enrolled in the ranks of the Whig party, 
which retained alike the members and the principles of the 
earlier conservative organization ; but he was always found 
among the keenest advocates of freedom, who could consist- 
ently be counted in its numbers. His own ideas of right, 
and of the reciprocal duties and relations of man to man, were 


by nature so sharply defined, that he stood on antislavery 
ground at once and instinctively ; and this question of free- 
dom and slavery absorbed, with him, all minor political issues, 
as Aaron's rod devoured all the rest. As a young man, he 
might almost have been regarded as more conservative than 
in his later years, so strongly did his sustained energy of 
principle and progressive politics at this time contrast with 
the concessive moderation to which advancing years had 
cooled the youthful ardor of many of his friends. When at 
last the division of his party rendered concerted action im- 
possible, and the choice between principle and party became 
inevitable, it required with him no long deliberation before 
he made his decision to cast in his lot with the small political 
body pledged to freedom, and then known as the Free-soil 
party ; and in 1847 he was found among the pioneers of this 
cause, at a time when it required no inconsiderable moral 
courage to endure the alienation of friends, that often fol- 
lowed unqualified adhesion to the Antislavery side. 

But the course of time was not long in bringing his justi- 
fication. From being a member of an organization so numeri- 
cally small, that it had hardly merited the name of a party, 
Mr. Willard lived to see its principles become the accepted 
doctrine of the country, the embodied sense of his own State 
and of the nation, and the centre of a movement so pro- 
found and so universal, that it upheaved the whole land in its 
onward progress. As the cloud of civil war gathered on 
the political horizon, it was almost welcomed by Mr. Willard, 
believing, as he did, that the sharpness of the remedy was 
indispensable to remove the evil, so deep-seated in the frame 
of the nation ; and never doubting that the open hostility of 
the South would bring about the triumph of freedom far 
more speedily than our former tame acquiescence in the ex- 
isting misgovernment, and constant attitude of concession to 
encroachments of pro-slavery leaders. 

But while the strong and earnest convictions which had 


grown into the very fibre of his being were at last receiv- 
ing their fulfilment, through the sanguinary medium of na- 
tional agony and struggle for life, his over-tasked strength 
began to waver and fail. For some years, an undefined and 
subtle malady had weakened his physical powers, — ascribed 
by his physicians to various causes, — all of which had only 
accelerated the action of the true cause, — severe confine- 
ment to official routine, and close application to scholarly 
toil. The progress of the disease was slow ; so slow, indeed, 
that Mr. Willard was not warned to break off in time from 
the labor that undermined his strength, and seek relief in 
relaxation and rest. Sustained by a constitution of natur- 
ally wonderful vigor, he had never dealt leniently with his 
strength, or learned the painful lesson of care which the 
invalid soon acquires ; but had merely turned from his busi- 
ness to take up his literary work, continued often far into the 
night, while the regularity of diet and exercise, which he 
always maintained with scrupulous care, did not give ade- 
quate re-invigoration to a frame demanding absolute rest, 
and change of scene. By degrees the long walks which 
his sons had shared as his companions were shortened or 
intermitted, and his annual month at the White Mountains 
failed to give the full renovating effect ; but all this was so 
imperceptible, extending over half a score of years, that he 
was not apprehensive for himself, gave up no duty of private 
life, and pursued his labor on the " Life of General Knox " 
with unflagging zeal. 

In the second year of the war, being then in correspond- 
ence with an English friend, he received from him a letter 
so filled with misconceptions of our national struggle and the 
position of the North, that he could not but vindicate in 
reply the cause for which he was ready to give his life, 
and set, as fully as he could, the question fairly before his 
friend. He wrote with so much force and clearness, and so 
thoroughly dissipated the cloud of misrepresentations with 


which jealousy and ignorance abroad had sought to over- 
whelm our cause, that his correspondent at once had the let- 
ter published in a leading English paper, from whose columns 
it was extensively circulated. A copy being sent to this 
country, it was republished by request, in a pamphlet form, 
and widely disseminated; and it ranks with the admirable 
productions of Motley, Stille, and Loring, which succeeded 
it. But Mr. Willard did not give merely time and the labors 
of his pen to the cause : his hand was always open to con- 
tribute and lavishly bestow relief, in response to, and often- 
times in anticipation of, the varying calls which our public 
necessities then made on individual liberality; and he gave 
almost beyond his means. But it was a cause in which he 
did not know economy. 

In the darkest hour of our national distress, his eldest 
son, Major Sidney Willard, after a brief service of four months, 
fell in his first battle, the gloomy defeat at Fredericksburg. 
After this, Mr. Willard's health declined rapidly; and, although 
no murmur escaped his lips, yet the disease, which had hereto- 
fore only preyed upon his physical strength, assailed in turn 
his mind and benumbed his faculties, rendering their exer- 
cise a painful tax upon his bodily powers ; until, after two 
years of suffering, death gently released the wearied spirit 
from its prison. He departed this life, May 12, 1865, at the 
age of sixty-seven years. 

His last labor was the preparation of a brief Memoir of 
the beloved son whom he had lost, compiled chiefly from 
letters written by him while in the field. 

In a life so quiet and remote from the public eye as his, it 
may not be deemed out of place to set forth briefly some of 
his more prominent traits of character ; and these cannot 
better be presented than in the well-considered words of his 
cherished friend and pastor, the Rev. Dr. Bartol, contained 
in a discourse delivered in the West Church, in Boston, on the 
occasion of his death : — 


" He was the righteous man whose portrait is drawn with brief, 
expressive touches in the Psalm I have read to you. Truly, his delight 
was in the law of the Lord. Deeply religious, constantly worshipful, 
the pulpit no surer to be occupied than his pew, — among the first 
philanthropists in that great enterprise of humanity, whose prosperity 
he lived to see, — he was a Puritan patriot ; the cordial gravity of the 
old school in his maimer, and one of the early Christians in the style of 
his faith ; and who lived as he believed. None who knew him but must 
have felt as one thing the upright beauty of the body and the soul, — as 
impossible to doubt the correctness of the angles of a crystal, as the 
lines of his integrity ; from the fair outside of his ripe moral behavior, 
sound to the core ; in the man's bosom, a heart beating soft as a maid- 
en's and innocent as a child's, yet he was a pillar of strength upon 
which all near him loved to lean. I feel that he died as in his prime ; 
yet I cite him as an example of conspicuous success, — not of the 
gross, worldly sort, certainly, but of success the rarest and most 
refined; of an unspotted fame, with a circle of friends at no point 
broken or darkened ; a happy home, and children that loved and obeyed 
their parents ; and with a name for honor as long as memory shall last." 

The President, in behalf of the Standing Committee, 
to whom was referred, with full power, the subject of 
the manuscript history of Bacon's " Rebellion," printed 
in the first volume of the Second Series of the Collec- 
tions, and the proposition that an accurate copy of the 
paper be secured before its restoration to the Virginia 
Historical Society, made the following report : — 

That the printed copy has been carefully compared with 
the original manuscript, by the Assistant Librarian, and 
found to contain numerous errors of orthography and punc- 
tuation, besides others still more important ; the whole num- 
ber of errata amounting to several thousands, no less than 
seventy having been detected on a single page. Not only 
are single words transposed or omitted, but whole sentences, 
and even the last two pages (which are somewhat mutilated), 
are not printed. In many instances where the manuscript is 
obscure, words are interpolated, sometimes changing entirely 
the sense of the paragraph or sentence. 


The required corrections have been made in a copy of the 
volume ; and, in view of their number and importance, the Com- 
mittee recommend, that the paper be reprinted by the Society.* 


The Indians Proseedings. 

for there owne security. They found that there store was too short to 
indure a long Seige, with out makeing emty belles and that emty belies, 
makes weake hearts, which all ways makes an unfit Serving Man to 
wate upon the God of war. Therefore they were resalue, before that 
there spirits were downe, to doe what they could to keepe there stores 
up ; as oppertunity should befriend them. And all though they were 
by the Law of Arms (as the case now stood) prohibited the hunting of 
wilde Deare, they resalued to see what good might be don by hunting 
tame Horsses. Which trade became their sport soe Ion, that those who 
came on Horsback to the seige, began to feare the should be compeld 
to trot horn a foot, and glad if they scap'd so too : for these belegured 
blades made so many salleys, and the beseigers kep such neglegent a neglected 
gards, that there was very few days past without som remarkeable 
mischeife. But what can hould out all ways ? euen stone walls yeilds 
to the not to be gaine-saide summons of time. And all though it is 
saide that the Indians doth the least minde their Bellies (as being con- 
tent with a litle) of any people in the world, yet now there bellies 
began to minde them, and there stomacks too, which began to be more 
inclineable to peace, then war ; which was the cause (no more Horss 
flesh being to be had) that they sent out 6 of their Worawances (cheife 
men) to commence a treaty. What the Artickles were, that they The Indians 

J . J send out . . 

brought alon with them, to treate of, I do not know ; but certainly there cheif 

men to . . . 

they were so unacceptable to the English, that they caused the Com- 

missioners braines to be knock'd out, for dictateing so badly to there 
tongues ; which yet, 'tis posible, exprest more reason then the English 
had, to prove the lawfullness of this action, being Diametrecall to the 
Law of Arms. 

* The history is accordingly here printed. For a description of the manuscript, 
see p. 342, note. Where dots are inserted, the manuscript is either torn or illegible; 
where brackets are used, the words are supplied by the Editors; where the original 
is indistinct, italics are employed. — Eds. 


This strange action put those in the Fort to there trumps, haueing 

thus lost som of their prime court cards, without a faire dealeing. 

They could not well tell what interpretation to put upon it (nor indeed, 

nobody ells) and very faine they wo[uld] . . . why those, whom they 

The Indians sent out with a [view] to suplicate a peace should be worss delt with 

forsake [the] "l J l . i 

Port. then [those who] were sent out with a sword to denounce a war ; but, 

[no one] could be got to make inquirye into the reason of this . . . 
which put them upon a ressalution to forsake there [station, and] not 
to expostulate the cause any further. Haueing [made] this resalution, 
and destroyed all things in the fort, that might be servisable to the 
English, they bouldly, undiscovered, slip through the Leagure (leave- 
ing the English to prossecute the seige, as Schogin's wife brooded the 
eggs that the Fox had suck'd) in the passing of which they knock'd 
ten men o'th head, who lay carelessly asleep in there way. 

Now all though it might be saide that the Indians went there ways 
emty handed, in regard they had left all there plunder and welth 
behinde them in the fort, yet it cannot be thought that they went away 
emty hearted : For though that was pritty well drained from it's former 
The Indians curage, through those inconvenencies that they had bin subjected to, by 
venge them- the seige, yet in y e roome thereof, rather then the venticles should lie 
English. voide, they had stowed up so much mallize, entermixt with a ressalu- 
tion of revenge, for the affrunt that the English had put upon them, in 
killing there messingers of peace, that they resalued to commence a 
most barberous and most bloody war. 

The Beseigers haueing spent a grate deale of ill imployed time in 
pecking at the huske, and now findeing the shell open, and mising the 
expected prey, did not a litle woonder what was be com of the lately 
impounded Indinans, who, though at present the could not be seene, 
yet it was not long before that they were heard off, and felt too. For 
in a very short time they had, in a most inhumane maner, murthered 
no less then 60 innocent people, no ways guilty of any actuall injury 
don to these ill disarning, brutish heathen. By the blood of these 
poore soules, they thought that the wandering ghosts of those there 
Commissioners, before mentioned, might be atton'd, and lade downe to 
take there repose in the dismall shades of death, and they, at present, 
not obliged for to prossecute any further revenge. Therefore to prove 
whether the English was as redy for a peace, as themselues, they send 
The Indians * n there remonstronce in the name of there [Chief, (ta]ken by an Eng- 
.' . .' to justi- li sn interpreter,) unto the Governour [of Verg]inia, with whom he 
seeding^ 1 ' 10 " expostulates in this sort. Wh[at was it] that moved him to take up 


Arms, against him, his pr[ofessed] fried, in the behalfe of the Mary- 
landers, his profes[sed ene]mies, contrary to that league made betwene 
[him] and himselfe ? Declares as well his owne as su[bjects] greife 
to finde the Yerginians, of Frinds, without any cause giuen, to becom 
his foes, and to be so eager in their groundless quarill, as to persew 
the chase into anothers dominions : Complaines, that his mesingers of 
peace, were not oneley murthered by the English, but the fact coun- 
tinanced by the Governour's Connivance : For which, seeing no other 
ways to be satisfied, he had revenged him self, by killing 10 for one of 
the Yerginians, such being the disperportion betwene his grate men 
murther'd, and those, by his command, slane. That now, this being 
don, if that his honour would alow him a valluable satisfaction for the 
damage he had sustained by the war, and no more concerne himselfe 
in the Marylanders quarill, he was content to renew and confirm the 
ancient league of amety ; other ways him selfe, and those whom he had 
ingaged to his intress (and there owne) were resalued to fite it out to 
the last man. 

These proposealls not being assented to by the English, as being 
derogetory and point blanke, both to honour and intress, these Indians 
draw in others (formerly in subjection to the Yerginians) to there The Re . . . 
aides: which being conjoyned (in seperate and united parties) they by the.." 
dayly commited abundance of ungarded and un revenged murthers, 
upon the English; which they perpretated in a most barberous and 
horid maner. By which meanes abundance of the Fronteare Planta- 
tions became eather depopulated by the Indians cruletys [swf], or 
desarted by the Planters feares, who were compelled to forsake there 
abodes, to finde security for there lives ; which they were not to part 
with, in the hands of y e Indiands, but under the worst of torments. 
For these brutish and inhumane brutes, least their cruilties might not 
be thought cruill enough, they devised a hundred ways to torter and The Cruei- 
torment those poore soules with, whose reched fate it was to fall in to dians. y 
there unmercyfull hands. For som, before that they would deprive 
them of there lives, they would take a grate deale- of time to de- 
prive them first of there skins, and if that life had not, throug[h the 
ang]uish of there paine, forsaken there tormented bodyes, they [with] 
there teeth (or som instrument,) teare the nailes of [their fingers and 
their] toes, which put the poore sufferer to a wo[ful condition. One 
was prepared for the fla]mes at lames Towne, who indured [much, 

but found means] to escape. Those who had the another world, 

wa3 to haue to be attributed to there more then can 




Forts to be 

xpire with ... or other wayes to be slane out rite, for least that 

there Deaths should be attributed unto som more mercyfull hands then 
theares, for to put all out of question, they would leaue som of there 
brutish Markes upon there fenceless bodies, that might testifye it could 
be none but they who had commited the fact. 

And now it was that the poore distresed and dubly afflicted Planters 
began to curss and execrate that ill manidged buisness at the Fort. 
There cryes were reitterated againe and againe, both to God and man 
for releife. But no appeareance of long wish'd for safety ariseing in 
the Horrison of there hopes, they were redy, could they haue tould 
which way, to leaue all and forsake the Collony ; rather then to stay 
and be expos'd to the crewiltys of the barberous heathen. 

At last it was concluded, as a good expedient for to put the coun- 
trey in to som degree of safety, for to plant Forts upon the Fronteres, 
thinkeing there by to put a stop unto the Indians excurssions : which 
after the expence of a grate deale of time and charge, being finished, 
came short of the designed ends. For the Indians quickly found out 
where about these Mouse traps were sett, and for what purpose, and 
so resalued to keepe out of there danger; which they might easely 
ennough do, with out any detriment to there designes. For though 
here by they were compeld (tis posible) to goe a litle about, yet they 
never thought much of there labour, so long as they were not debar'd 
from doing of Mischeife ; which was not in the power of these forts to 
prevent : For if that the English did, at any time, know that there 
Notvaiiued was more ways in to the wood then one, to kill Deare, the Indians 
dfans. e n " found more then a thousand out of the wood, to kill Men, and not com 
neare the danger of the forts neather. 

The small good that was by most expected, and now by [them 
expe]rienc'd from these useless fabricks (or castells, if a ... a marvel- 
lous discontent amongst the people. . . . the charge would be grate, 

and the benifitt . . . arise out of these wolfe-pi came every day 

losers ; and Banke, if it do not inc to cast about for so 

lost. It vext t[he hearts of many tha they should] be com- 
peld to worke all the day, (nay all the yeare), for to reward those 
Mole-catchers at the forts, (no body knew for what,) and at night could 
not finde a place of safety to lie downe in, to rest there wery bones, for 
feare they should be shatter'd all to peices by the Indians ; upon which 
consideration the thought it best to petition the downe fall of these 
useless (and like to be) chargeable fabricks, from whose continuance 
they could neather expect proffitt nor safety. 

1866.] " bacon's proseedings." 303 

But for the effecting of this buisness, they found them selues un- ^^J* 
der a very grate disadvantage. For though it may be more easier to the English, 
cast downe, then irect, well cemented structure, yet the rule doth not 
hould in all cases. For it is to be understood that these Forts were 
contrived, eather by the sole command of the Governour, or other 
ways by the advice of those whose judgments, in this affaire, he ap- 
proved off; eather of which was now, they being don, his owne eme- 
diate act, as they were don in his name ; which to haue undon, at the 
simple request of the people, had bin, in efect, to haue undon that 
Repute he all ways held, in the peoples judgment, for a wise Man ; and 
better that they should suffer som small inconvenencies, then that he 
should be counted less diserning then those, who, till now, were 
counted more then halfe blinde. Besides, how should he satisfie his 
honour with the undertakers of the worke? If the peoples petition 
should be granted, they must be disapointed, which would haue bin 
litle less then an undoeing to the allsoe, in there expectation of proffitt 
to be raised from the worke. Here by the people quickly found them 
selues in an errour, when that they apprehended what a strong founda- 
tion the Forts were irected upon, honour and proffitt, against which all 
there saping and mineing had no power to over turne ; they haueing no 
other ingredience to makeing up there fire works with but prayers, 
and miss spent teares and intreties ; which haueing vented to no pur- 
pose, and finding there condition every whit as bad, if not worse since, 
as before, the forts were made, they resalued . . . le patience was set to 

manv to hope in the countin- of no long being in the Bacon ap- 

J l . [pejares 

cou- state ; and nerely related to one gnity. A Man he against the 


was of larger hich rendred him indeared (if not not for 

any thing he had yet don, as the cause of there affections, but what they 
expected he would doe to disarve there devotion ; while with no common 
zeale, they send up there reitterated prayers, first to him self, and next 
to Heaven, that he may becom there Gardian Angle, to protect them 
from the cruilties of the Indians, against whom this Gent:man had a 
perfict antipothey. 

It seemes, in the first rise of the War, this Gent:man had made 
som overtures, unto the Governour, for a Commission, to go and put a 
stop to the Indians proseedings. But the Governour, at present, eather 
not willing to commence the quarill (on his part) till more suteable 
reasons prisented, for to urge his more severe prosecution of the same, 
against the heathen : or that he douted Bacons temper, as he appear'd 




against the 

Populerly inclin'd : A const etution not consistant with the times, and 
the peoples dispossitions ; being generally discontented, for want of 
timely provissions against the Indians, or for Afiuall impositions lade 
upon them, too grate (as they saide) for them to beare, and against 
which they had som considerable time complained, without the least 
redress. For these, or som other reasons, the Governour refused to 
comply with Bacon's proposalls. Which he lookeing upon as an under- 
valuing as well to his parts, as a disperidgment to his pretentions, hee in 
som elated and passionate expressions, sware Commission or no Com- 
mission, the next man or woman that he heard of that should be kild 
by the Indians, he would goe out against them, though but 20 men 
would adventure the servis with him. Now it so unhappylie fell out, 
that the next person that the Indians did kill, was one of his owne 
ffamiley. Where upon haueing got together som 70 or 80 persons, 
most good Howsekeepers, well armed, and seeing that he could not 
legally procure a Commission (after som struglings with the Gov- 
ernour (. . . Scuffell) and som of his best friends, co . . . terprise, he 

apply es hi his oath, and so forth ans. 

The Governour could not this insolent deportment of Bac 

• • r w - flk- ed at his proseedings. Which insteade of seekeing 

gust- . . at f o ^ o 

Bacons . . meanes to appease his anger, they devised meanes to increase it, by 
frameing specious pretences, which they grounded upon the bouldness of 
Bacons actions, and the peoples affections. They began (som of them) 
to haue Bacons Merits in mistrust, as a Luminary that thretned an eclips 
to there riseing gloryes. For though he was but a yong man, yet they 
found that he was master and owner of those induments which consti- 
tutes a Compleate Man, (as to intrincecalls) wisdom to apprehend and 
descretion to chuse. By which imbelishments (if he should continue 
in the Governours favour) of Seniours they might becom juniours, 
while there yonger Brother, through the nimbleness of his w T it, might 
steale away that blessing, which they accounted there owne by birth- 
right. This rash proseedings of Bacon, if it did not undo himselfe, by 
his faileing in the enterprise, might chance to undo them in the affec- 
tions of the people ; which to prevent, they thought it conduceable to 
there intress and establishment, for to get y e Governour in the minde 
to proclame him a Rebell ; as knowing that once being don, since it 
could not be don but by and in the Governours name, it must needs 
breed bad blodd betwene Bacon and S r William, not easely to be 
purged. For though S r William might forgiue, what Bacon, as yet, 
had acted ; yet it might be questionable whether Bacon might forget 

1866.] " bacon's proseedings." 305 

what Sir William had don : However, according to there desires, JJJJJJ^ ' 
Bacon and all his adhereance was proclamed a Rebell, May the 29, Bacon, 
and forces raised to reduce him to his duty. With which the Gov- 
ernour advanced from the Midle Plantation* to finde him out, and if 
neede was to fight him, if the Indians had not knock'd him, and those 
with him, on the head, as som were in hope they had don, and which 
by som was ernistly desired. 

After som few days the Governour retracts his march, (a jurnye of 
som 30 or 40 miles) to meet with the Assembley, now redy to sit 
downe at our Metropollis, while Bacon in the meane time meets with Bacon 

1 me[ets] with 

the Indians, upon whom he falls with abundance of ressalution and foe Indians. 

gallentrey (as his owne party relates it) in there fastness : killing a 

grate many, and blowing up there Magazene of Arms and Pouder, 

to a considerable quantity . . . y his self, no less then 4000 weight. 

This [being done, and all his] Provissions spent, he returns horn to his 

. . . e, where he submits him selfe to be chosen Bur[gess of t]he County 

in which he did live, contrary to his qualifications, take him as he was 

formerly one of the Councell of State, or as hee was now a proclamed 

Rebell. How ever, he applyes him 'selfe to the performance of that 

trust reposed in him, by the people, if he might be admited into the 

Howse. But this not faging according to his desire, though according 

to his expectation, and he remaneing in his sloope, (then at Ancor Ba . con taken 

before the Towne) in which was about 30 Gent:men besides himselfe, 

he was there surprised with the rest, and made prissoner, som being 

put into Irons: in which condition they remaned som time, till all 

things were fitted for the tr-iall. Which being brought to a day of Brought 

heareing, before the Governour and Councell, Bacon was not onely triaii and 

acquited and pardoned all misdemeniors, but restored to the Councell 

Table as before ; and not onely, but promised to haue a Commission 

signed the Monday following (this was on the Saterday) as Generall June 10. 

for the Indian war, to the universall satisfaction of the people, who Commission. 

passionately desired the same ; witnessed by the ginerall acclameations 

of all then in towne. 

And here who can do less then wonder at the muteable and imper- 
menent deportments of that blinde Godes Fortune ; who, in the morn- 
ing loades Man with disgraces, and ere night crownes him with 
honours : Somtimes depressing, and againe ellivateing, as her fickle 
humer is to smile or frowne, of which this Gen^mans fate was a kinde 

* Williamsburg. See Beverly's History of Virginia. — Eds. 


of an Epittemey, in the severall vicissetudes and changes he was sub- 
jected to in a very few dayes. For in the morning, before his triall, 
he was, in his Enimies hopes, and his Friends feares, judged for to 
receue the Gurdian due to a Rebell (and such hee was proclamed 
to be) and ere night, crowned the Darling of the Peoples hopes and 
desires, as the onely man fitt in Verginia, to put a stop unto the bloody 
ressalutions of the Heathen : And yet againe, as a fuller manifestation 
of Fortune's inconstancye, with in two or three days, the peoples hopes, 
nX?i°refus- anc ^ n * s desires, were both frusterated by the Governours refuseing to 
the commit sl S ne tne promised Commission. At which being disgusted, though 
sion - at present he desembled ... so well as he could, (and tis supposed 

that w ... he beggs leaue of the Governour for to be despence . . . his 
Bacon dis- se rvis at the Councell table, to vissit his L ... he saide, had informed 

gusted. 7 7 

him, was indisposed, as to her . . . which request the Governour (after 
som contest with his owne thoughts) granted, contrary to the advise of 
som about him, who suspected Bacons designes, and that it was not 
so much his Lady's sickness, as the distempers of a troubled minde, 
that caused him to with draw to his owne house, and that this was 
the truth, with in a few days was manifested, when that he returned 
to Towne at the head of 500 Men in Arms. 

The Governour did not want intillegence of Bacons designes, & 

therefore sent out his summons for Yorke Traine Bands to reinforce 

his gards, then at Towne. But the time was so short, (not above 12 

Bacon re- howers warning) and those that appeared at the Randevouze made 

turnes to &' * * 

Towne at the such a slender number, that under 4 Insignes there was not mustered 

head of 500 , ° 

men, and above 100 Soulders, and not one halfe of them sure neather, and all so 

forceath a 

Commission, slugish in there march, that before they could reach towne, by a grate 
deale, Bacon had enter'd the same, and by force obtained a Commition, 
calculated to the hight of his owne desires. With which Commission, 
(such as it was,) being invested, hee makes redy his provissions, fills 
up his Companies to the designed number (500 in all) and so applies 
him selfe to those servises the Countrey expected from him. And, first, 
for y e secureing the same from the excursions of the Indians, in his 
absence (and such might be expected) he commissionated severall per- 
sons, (such as he could confide in) in every respectiue county, with 
select companies of well armed men, to range the Forists, swomps, 
thickits, and all such suspected places where the Indiands might haue 
any shelter for the doeing of mischeife. Which proseedings of his put 
so much curage into the Planters, that they began to applye them 
selues to there accustomed imployments in there plantations : which 

1866.] "bacon's proseedings." 307 

till now they durst not do, for feare of being knock'd on the head, as, 
God knowes, too many were, before these orders were observed. 

While the Generall (for so was Bacon now denominated by vertue 
of his Commission) was sedulous in these affaires, & fitting his provis- 
sions, about the head of Yorke River, in order to his advance against 
the Indians ; the Governour was steareing quite contrary courses. He 
was once more perswaded (but for what reasons not visible) to pro- 
claime Bacon a Rebell againe. And now since his absence afforded 
an advantage, to raise the countrey upon him, so soone as he should 
returne tired and exhausted by his toyle and labour in the Indian war. 
For the puting this councell in execution, the Governour steps ouer into 
Gloster County, (a place the best replenished for men, arms, and affec- 
tions of any County in Vero-inia,) all which the Governour summons The Govem- 

• idt • our sum " 

to giue him a meetemg at a place & day assigned, where being met, mons in the 

Gloster men 

according to the summons, the Governours proposalls was so much to the Court 
disrellished, by the wholl convention, that they all disbanded to 
there owne aboades, after there promise past to stand by, and assist 
the Governoure, against all those who should go about to rong, eather 
his parson, or debase his Authority ; unto which promise they an- 
next, or subioyned severall reasons why they thought it not, at pres- 
ent, convenient to declare them selues against Bacon, as he was now 
advanceing against the common enimy, who had in a most barber- 
ous maner murthered som hundreds of o r - deare Breatheren and Coun- 
trey Men, and would, if not prevented- by God, and the endeviours of 
good men, do there utmost for to cut of the wholl Collony. There- The Giosters 
fore they did thinke that it would be a thing inconsistant with reason, testation. 
if that they, in this desperate coniunture of time, should go and ingage 
themselves one against another ; from the result of which proseedings, 
nothing could be expected but ruing and destruction unto both, to the 
one and the other party, since that it might reasonably be conceued, 
that while they should be exposeing there brests against one anothers 
wepons, the barberous and common enimy (who would make his disad- 
vantages [sic] by our disadvantages) should be upon there backs to 
knock out there brains. But if it should so hapen (as they did hope 
it would never so hapen) that the Generall after the Indian war was 
finished, should attempt any thing against his Honf person or Gover- 
nment, that then they would rise up in arms, with a joynt consent, for 
the prisarvation of both. 

Since the Governour could obtaine no more, he was, at present, to 
rest himselfe contented with this, while those who had advised him to 


these undertakeings, was not a litle dissatisfide to finde the event not 
to answer there expectations. But he at present, seeing there was no 
more to be don, since he wanted a power to haue that don, which was 
esteemed the maine of the affaires, now in hand to be don, namely, 
the gaineing of the Gloster men, to do w 7 hat he would haue don, he 
thought it not amiss to do what he had a power to do, and that was 
Bacon pro- once more to proclame Bacon a Tratour, which was performed in all 

[clajmed a 

Tratour. publick places of meetings in these parts. The noyse of which proc- 
lameation, after that it had past the admireation of all that were not 
aquainted with the reasons that moued his honf to do what he had now 
don, soone reached the Generall eares, not yet stopt up from lisning 
to apparent dangers. 

This strange and unexpected news put him, and som with him, 
shrodely to there trumps, beleveing that a few such deales, or shuffles 
(call them which you please) might quickly ring the cards, and game 
too, out of his hand. He perceued that he was falne (like the corne 
betwene the stones) so that if he did not looke the better about him, 
he might chance to be ground to powder. He knew that to haue a 
certaine enimy in his frunt, and more then uncertaine friends in his 
reare, portended no grate security from a violent death, and that there 
could be no grate difference betwene his being wounded to death in his 
brest, with bows and Arow r s, or in the back with Guns and Musquit 
bullits. He did see that there was an abseluted necessity of destroy- 
ing the Indians, for the prisarvation of the English, and that there was 
som care to be taken for his owne and soulders safety, otherways that 
worke must be ill don, where the laberours are mad criples, and com- 
peld, insteade of a sword, to betake them selues to a c[ru]tch. It 
vext him to the hert (as he was heard to say) f [or] to thinke, that while 
he was a hunting Wolves, Tygers and Foxis, which dayly destroyed 
our ha[r]mless Sheep and Lamb[s,] that hee, and those with him, 
should be persued in the re[are], with a full crye, as a more salvage 
or no less rave[nous] beast. But to put all out of doubt, and himselfe 
into . . . gree of safety, since he could not tell but that som [whom] 
he had left behinde, might not more desire his de[ath,] then to here 
that by him the Indians were dest[royed, he] forth with (after a short 
i consultation held with [som of his soulde]rs) countermarcheth his 
Army, and in a trice [ ] w 7 ith them at the midle Plantation,* a place 
sit[uated in the] very heart of the Countrey. 

* Williamsburg. — Eds. 

1866.] " bacon's proseedings." 309 

The first thing that Bacon fell upon (after [that he had] setled 
himselfe at the Midle Plantation) was [to prepare] his Remonstrance, 
and that as well against [the Governo]urs Paper of the 29 of May, 
as in answer to th[e Governours proclamation. Puting both papers 
upon these Declarations, he asks] Whether Parsons wholly devoted 
to there Kin[g and coun]trey, haters of all sinester, and by respects, 
ampng on]ly at the Countreys good, and indeviouring to th[e utmost 
of there] power, to the haserd of there lives & fortunes, . . . destroy 
those that are in Arms against King & . . . that never plotted, con- 
trived, nor indevioured . . . ion, detrement or rong of any of his 
Majesties [subjects, in] there lives, names, fortunes, or estates, can 
desarue the appellations of Rebells and Traters ? He cites the wholl 
country to testifye his" & his soulders peaceable behaviours ; up- 
brades som in Authorety with the meaness of there parts ; others, 
now welthey, with the meaness of there estates, when the came 
first in to the Country ; and questions by what just ways, or meaner, 
they haue obtained the same ; and whether they haue not bin the 
spunges that haue suck'd up & devoured the common tresurye ? 
Questions what Arts, Ciences, Schooles of learning or Mafnlufacteres [Bacon's dec- 

. . o L J laration.] 

hath bin promoted by any now in Authorety ? Iustifyes his avers- 
sion (in generall) against the Indians ; Upbrades the Governour for 
manetaineing there quarill (though never so unjust) against the Chris- 
tians rites and intress ; His refuseing to admit an English man's oath 
against an Indian, when that an [In]dians word shall be a sufficient 
proofe against an [En]glish Man: Saith som thing against the Gov- 
ernour [concerning the Beaver trade, as not in his power to de . . . 
off, as being a Monopley appertaineing to the Cro[wn] : Questions 
whether the Traders at the heads of the ... s do not buy & sell the 
blood of there deare Brther . . . untrey men : Araignes one Coll: 
Coles ascertion [for sayi]ng that the English are bound to protect the 
Ind[ians] ... or to the haserd of there blood; and so conelu[des] 
[with a]n appeale to King and Parliament, where he [has no doubt] 
but that his and the Peoples cause will be impartially h]eard. 

[After this manner] the Game beginns, in which (though never so 
. . . the one side must be, undoutedly, losers. This . . . nee of Bacons 
was but the Praeludum (or rath ... e) to the following Chapter ; with- 
out which the ... t (in peoples mindes) be subject to rong interpre 
. . . other ways look'd upon to be, at best, but Hetro ... he inditers 
good meaneing. 

... his next worke was to invite all that had [any regar]d to them- 



selues, or love to there Countrey, the . . . Children, or any other re- 
lations; to giue [him a meeting] in his Quarters, at a day named, 
then and the [re to consu]lt how to put the countrey in to som degree 
of safety, and to indevoure for to stop those imminent dangers, now 
thretning the destruction of the wholl Collony, through the bloody 
proseedings of the Indians ; and (as he said) by S? William B. doteing 
and ireguler actings. Desireing of them not to sit still, in this com- 
mon time of callamitye, with there hands in there bosums ; or as uncon- 
cer'd spectaters, stand gazeing upon their approcheing ruinys, and not 
lend a hand to squench those flames now likely to consume them and 
theres to ashes. 

According to the summons, most of the prime Gen^men in these 
parts, (where of som were of the Councell of State) gaue Bacon a 
meeteing in his quarters, at y e assigned time. Where being met (after 
a long Harange by him made, much of the nature of, and to explane 
the summons) he desired them to take the same so far in to there con- 
sideration, that there might, by there wisdom, som expedient [be] 
found out, as well for the countryes securytie against Sf Williams 
Ireguler proseedings, as that hee, and Armye, might unmollest pros- 
secute the Indian war. Ading, that neather him selfe, nor those 
under his command, thought it a thing consisting with reason, or com- 
mon sence, to advance against the common Enimy, and in the meane 
time want insureance (when they had don the worke abrode) not to 
haue their throtes cut, when they should return hom, by those whoe 
had set them to worke : being confident that Sf William and som 
others with him, through a sence of their unworantable actions, would 
do what was posible to be don, not onely to destroy himself, but others 
(privie to their knavereys) now ingaged in the Indian servis with 

After that Bacon had urg'd, what he thought meet for y e better carv- 
ing on of those affaires, now hammering in his head, it was concluded 
by the wholl Convention, that for y e establishing the Generall, and 
Army, in a consistancy of safety, and that as well upon his march 
against the Indians, as when that he should returne from the servis, 
and allso for the keepeing the Countrey in peace, in his absence, that 
there should be a test, or recognition, drawne, and subscribed by the 
wholl Countrey, which should oblige then [s^c] and every of them, not 
to be aideing nor assisting to Sr Will. Berkley (for now he would not 
afford him the title of Governour) in any sorte, to the molestation, 
hinderance or detriment of the Ginerall and Army. This being as- 

1866.] " bacon's proseedings." 311 

sented to, the Clarke of the Assembley was ordred to put the same JJj^JJJ 
in to forme ; which while he was a doeing, the Generall would needs 
haue another branch added to the former, viz. That the people should 
not onely be obliged not to be aideing unto Sf W: B. against the Gen- 
erall, but that by the force of this Recognition, they should be obliged 
to rise in Arms against him, if he with armed forces should offer to 
resist the Generall, or desturb the Countries peace, in his absence : and 
not onely so, but (to make the ingagement Al-a-mode [sie~\ Rebellion) 
he would haue it added, that if any forces should be sent out of Eng- 
land, at y e request of $* William, or other ways to his aide, that they 
were likewise to be aposed, till such time as the Countrys cause should 
be sent horn, and reported to his most Sacred Majesty. 

These two last branches of this Bugbeare did marvellously startle 
the people, especially the very last of all, yet for to giue the Generall 
satisfaction how willing they were to give him all the security that lay 
in there power, they seemed willing to subscribe the two first, as they 
stood single, but not to any, if the last must be joyned with them. 
But y e Generall used, or urged, a grate many reasons for the signeing 
the wholl ingagement, as it was presented in the three conjoyned 
branches, other ways no securitye could be expected, neather to the 
Countrey, ' Armye, nor himselfe : therefore he was resalued, if that 
they would not do, what hee did judg soe reasonable, and necessary 
to be don, in and about the premises, that he would surrender up his 
Commission to the Assembley, and let the countrey finde som other 
servants to goe abrode and do there worke. 

For, sath he, it is to be considered, that Sf William hath allredy Bacons 
proclamed me a Rebell, and it is not unknowne to himselfe that I both y e takemg 
can, and shall charge him with no less then Treason. And it is not 
my selfe onely, that must and is concerned in what shall be charged 
against him, but severall Gen^men in the countrey, besides ; who 
now are, and ever will be against his intress, and of those that shall 
adhere to his ilegall proseedings : of which he being more then ord- 
narely senceable, it cannot in common reason be otherways conceued, 
but that he being assisted by those forces, now implored, that they 
shall not be wholly imployed to the destruction of all those capeable 
to frame an accuseation against him, to his sacred Majesty. Neather 
can it reasonably be apprehended, that he will ever condesend to any 
friendly accomadation w*? those that shall subscribe to all, or any part 
of this ingagement, unless such or such persons shall be surrendred up 
to his marcy, to be proseeded against, as he shall thinke fitt : and then 

The oath 


how many, or few, those may be, whom he shall make choyce of, to be 
sent into the tother world, that he may be rid of his feares in this, may 
be left to consideration. 

Many things was (by many of those who were at this meeting) 
urged pro and con, concerning the takeing or not takeing of the in- 
gagement : But such was the ressalute temper of the Generall, 
against all reasoning to the contrary, that y e wholl must be swollowed, 
or ells no good would be don. In the urging of which he used such 
specious and subtill pretences ; som times for the pressing, and not to 
be despenced with necessity, in regarde of those feares the wholl Col- 
lony was subjected to through the daly murthers perpetrated by the 
Indians, and then againe opening the harmlesness of the Oath, as he 
would haue it to be, and which he manidged solely against a grate 
many of those counted the wisest men in the Countrey, with so much 
art and sophisticall dixterety, that at lengtii there was litle said, by 
any, against the same : Especially when that the Guner of York Fort 
arived, imploreing aide to secure the same against the Indians ; ading 
that there was a grate many poore people fled into it for protection, 
which could not be, unless there was som speedy course taken to rein- 
force the said Fort, with Munition and Arms, other ways it, and those 
fled to it, would go nere hand to fall in to the power of the Heathen. 

The Generall was som what startled at this newes, & accordingly 
expostulated the same, how could it posible be that the most concider- 
ablest fortris in the countrey, should be in danger to be surprised by 
the Indians. But being tould that the Governour, the Say before, had 
caused all the Arms and Amunition to be convayed out of the Fort 
into his owne vessell, with which he was saled forth of the Countrey, 
as it was thought, it is strange to thinke, what impressions this Story 
made upon the peoples apprehentions. In ernist this action did stager 
a grate many, otherways well inclined to S* William, who could not 
tell what constructions to put upon it. How ever, this was no grate 
disadvantage to Bacons designes ; he knew well enough how to make 
his advantages out of this, as well as he did out of the Gloster busness, 
before mentioned, by frameing and stomping out to the peoples appre- 
hentions what commentaries, or interpretations, he pleased, upon the 
least oversight by the Governour commited ; which hee managed with 
so much cuning & subtillety, that the peoples minds became quickly 
flexable, and apt to receue any impression, or simillitude, that his 
Arguments should represent to there ill disarneing judgments ; in so 
much that the Oath became now more smooth, and glib, to be swol- 

1866.] "bacon's proseedings." 313 

lowed, even by those who had the gratest repugnancy against it ; so 
that there was no more descorses used neather for restrictions nor in- 
largements ; onely this salvo was granted, unto those who would clame 
the benifit of it (and som did soe) yet not exprest in the writen copey 
(viz.) That if there was any thing in the same of such dangerous 
consequence that might tant the subscribers Alegence, that then they 
should stand absalued from all and every part of the s? oath; unto 
which the Generall gave his consent (and certainely he had too much 
cuning to denye, or gaine say it) saying God forbid that it should be 
other ways ment, or intended ; adding that himselfe (and Armye by 
his command) had, som few days before taken the Oath of Alegience, 
therefore it could not Rationally be immagined that eather him selfe, 
or them, would goe about to act, or do, any thing contrary to the meane- 
ing of the same. 

Bad Ware requires a darke store, while Sleeke and Pounce inveagles 
the Chapmans judgment. Though the first subscribers were indulged 
the liberty of entering there exceptions, against the strict letter of the 
oath, yet others who were to take the same before the respectiue jus- 
tices of peace in their severall juridictions, were not to hane y e same 
lattitude. For the # power of affording cautions, and exceptions, was 
solely in the imposer, not in those who should here after administer 
the oath, whereby the aftertakers were obliged to swollow the same 
(though it might haserd there choakeing) as it stood in the very letter 
thereoff. Xeather can I apprehend what benifit could posible accrew 
more unto those who were indulged, the fore S? previllidg, then to those 
who were debard the same ; since both subscribed the ingagement as it 
stood in the letter, not as it was in the meaneing of the subscriber. It 
is trew, before God and there owne conciences, it might be pleadeable, 
but not at the Bar of humane proseedings, with out a favourable inter- 
pretation put upon it, by those who were to be the judges. 

While Bacon was continuing, and imposeing this Illegall Oath, for 
to secure him selfe against the Governour, the Governour was no less 
sollicious to finde out meanes to secure him selfe against Bacon. There- Sr w - sailes 

° to Acco- 

fore, as the onely place of securytie, within the Collony, to keep out of mack. 
Bacons reach, he sales over to Accomack. This place is sequestered 
from the mane part of Verginia through the enterposition of the grate 
Bay of Cheispiock, being itselfe an Isthmus, and commonly called the 
Eastern shore. It is bounded on the East with the maine oacian, and 
on the Sowth west with the afore s? Bay, which runs up into the 
countrey navigable for the bigest Ships more then 240 miles, and so 





Bland & 
Carver sent 
to Acco- 

consequently, not approcheable from the other parts of Verginia but by 
water, without surrounding the head of the s? Bay : A labour of toyle, 
time, and danger, in regard of the way, and habitations of the Indians. 
It was not long before Bacon was inform'd where the Governour 
had taken Santuary ; neather was he ignorant what it was that moved 
him to do what he had don : He did all so apprehend that, as he had 
found the way out, he could (when he saw his owne time) finde the way 
in againe; and though he went forth with an emty hand he might 
return with a full fist. For the preventing of which (as he thought) 
he despach'd away one Esq r . Bland, a Geirmian of an actiue .and 
stiring dispossition, and no grate admirer of S* Williams goodness ; 
and with him, in Commission, one Capt. Carver, a person aquainted 
with Navigation, and one (as they say) indebted to S* W. (before he 
dyed) for his life, upon a duble account, with forces in two ships, eather 
to block S* William up in Accomack, or other ways to inveagle the 
inhabitants (thinkeing that all the countrey, like the Friere in the 
Bush, must needs be soe mad as to dance to there Pipe) to surrender 
him up in to there hands. 

Bacon haueing sent Bland, and the rest, to doe this servis, once 
more re-enters upon his Indian march ; after that he had taken order 

against the f or the conveineing an Assembley, to sit downe on the 4 of Septem- 
ber, y e Summons being Authentick'd, as they would haue it, under 
the hands of 4 of the Councell of State ; and y e reason of the Conven- 
tion to manidge the affaires of y e Countrey in his absence ; least (as he 
saide) while hee went abrode to destroy the Wolves, the Foxes, in 
the meane time, should com and devoure the Sheepe. Hee had not 
march'd many miles, from his head quarters, but that newes came post 
hast, that Bland and the rest with him, were snapt at Accomack ; be- 
trade (as som of there owne party related) by Capt. Carver : but 
those who are best able to render an acount of this affaire do aver, 
that there was no other Treason made use of but there want of discre- 

Carrer taken tion, assisted by the iuce of the Grape: had it bin other ways the 

and hanged. 

Governour would never rewarded the servis with y e gift of a Halter, 
which he honoured Carver with, sudenly after his surpriseall. Bland 
was put in Irons, and ill intreated, as it was saide ; most of the soulders 
owned the Governours cause, by entering them selues in to his servis ; 
those that refused were made prissoners, and promised a releasement 
at the price of Carvers fate. 

The Governour being blest with this good servis, and the better 
servis, in that it was efected with out blood shed, and being inform'd 

Bacon ad- 

1866.] u bacon's proseedins." 315 

that Bacon was entred upon his Indian March, ships him selfe for the Jj^jf^Jj 53 
western shore, being assisted with 5 ships and 10 sloops, in which (as ^ ^ stern 
it is saide) was about a thousand soulders. The newes where of out- 
striping his canvis wings soone reach'd the eares of those left by Bacon, 
to see the Kings peace kep, by resisting the Kings vice gerent. For 
before that the Governour could get over the Water, two fugetiues 
was got to land, sent (as may be supposed) from som in Accomack, 
spirited for the Generalls quarill, to inform those here, of the same 
principles, of the Governours strength, and upon what terms his soul- 
ders were to fight. And first they were to be rewarded with those 
mens estates who had taken Bacons Oath, catch that catch could. 
Secondly that they, and there heirs, for 21 years should be discharged TJpoa^iiat 
from all impossition, excepting Church dues, and lastly 12 pence per Accomack- 
day, dureing the wholl time of servis. And that it was further decreed fight. 
that all Sarvants, whose masters were under the Generall Collours, or 
that had subscribed the ingagement, should be set free, and injoy the 
fore mention'd benifits, if that they would (in Arms) owne the Gov- 
ernours cause. And that this was the wholl truth, and nothing but the 
truth, the two men be fore mention'd, deposed before Capt. Thorp 
one of the lust-asses of the peace, for York County, after that one 
Collonell Scarsbrooke had more prudently declined the admiting these 
two scoundrills to the test. Whether these ffellows were in the right, 
or in the rong, as to what they had narated, I know not, but this is cer- 
taine, whether the same was trew, or false, it produced the efects of 
truth in peoples mindes ; who hereby became so much destracted in 
there ressalutions, that they could not tell, at present, which way to turn The peoples 


them selues ; while there tongues expresed no other language but what condition, 
sounded forth feares, wishes, and execrations, as their apprehentions, 
or affections, dictated : All lookeing upon them selues as a people utterly 
undon, being equally exposed to the Governours displeasure, and the 
Indians bloody cruillties ; Som cursing the cause of there approcheing 
destruction, lookeing upo the Oath to be no small ingredient, helping 
to fill up the measure of there Miserys : Others wishing the Generalls 
presence, as there onely Rock of safety, while other look'd upon him 
as the onely quick sands ordained to swollow up, and sinke the ship 
that should set them on shore, or keep them from drownding in the 
whirle poole of confuseion. 

In the midest of these feares, and perturbations, the Governour s* w. ariye3 
ariues with his Fleet of 5 ships and 10 sloopes, all well man'd (or Sep. 7. 
appear'd to be soe) before the Towne ; into which the Governour sends 


his summons (it being possest by 7 or 800 Baconians) for a Rendi- 
tion ; with a free and ample pardon to all that would decline Bacons 
intress, and owne his, excepting one Mr. Drummond and one Mr. 
Larance a Collonell, and both actiue promoters of Bacons designes : 
Which is a most apparent argument, that what those two men (before 
mentioned) had sworn to, was a mere pack of untruths. This his 
Honours Proclamation was acceptable to most in Towne ; while others 
againe would not trust to it, feareing to meet with som after-claps of 
The Bacon- revenge : Which diverseity of opinions put them all into a ressalution 

iaus forsake 

the towne. of diserting the place, as not Tenable (but indeed had it bin fortifyed, 
yet they had no Commission to fight) while they had the liberty of so 
doeing, before it should be wholly invested ; which that night, in the 
darke, they put in execution, every one shifting for him selfe with 
no ordnary feare, in the gratest hast posible, for fere of being sent 
after : And that som of them was posses'd with no ordnary feare, may 
be manifested in Collonell Larence, whose spirits were so much 
destracted, at his apprehentions of being one excepted in the Gov- 
ernours act of grace, that he forsooke his owne Howse with all his 
welth and a faire Cupbord of Plate intire standing, which fell into the 
Governours hands the nex Morning. 

The Towne being thus forsaken, by the Baconians, his Honour 
enters the same the next day, about noone ; where after he had ren- 
dred thanks unto God for his safe arivall (which he forgot not to 
perform upon his knees, at his first footeing the shore) hee applyes 
himselfe not onely to secure what he had got possesion of, but to 
increace and inlarge the same to his best advantage. And knowing 
that the people of ould useally painted the God of war with a belly to 
be fed, as well as with hands to fight, he began to cast about for the 
bringing in of provissions for to feed his soulders ; and in the next 
place for soulders, as well to reinforce his strength with in, as to inlarge 
his quarters abrode : But as the saying is, Man may propose, but God 
will dispone ; when that his hon r thought him selfe so much at liberty, 
that he might haue the liberty to go when and where he pleased, his 
expectations became very speedily & in a moment frusterated. 

For Bacon haueing don his buisness against the Indians, or at least 
so much as he was able to do, haueing marched his men with a grate 
deale of toyle & haserd som hundreds of miles, one way and another, 
killing som and takeing others prissoners, and haueing spent his pro- 
vissions, draws in his forces with in the verge of the English Planta- 
tions, from whence he dismiseth the gratest part of his Army to 

1866.] "bacon's proceedings." 317 

gether strength against the next designed March, which was no sooner 
don but he incounters the newes of the Governours being arived at 
town. Of which being informed he with a marvellous cellerity (out- 
striping the swift wings of fame) maroheth those few men now with 
him (which hee had onely resarved as a gard to his parson) and in a 
trice blocks up the Governour in Towne, to the generall astonishment Bacon blocks 

* c the Governo* 

of the wholl Countrey ; especially when that Bacons numbers was u p "* towne. 
knowne ; which at this time did not exseed aboue a hundred and fifty, 
and these not above two thirds at worke neather. An action of so 
strange an Aspect, that who ever tooke notis of it, could not chuse 
but thinke but that the Accomackians eather intended to receue their 
promised pay, without disart ; or other ways to establish such signall 
testimonies of there cower^dize or disaffections, or both, that posterity 
might stand & gaze at there reched stupidety. 

Bacon soone perceved what easey worke he was likely to haue, in 
this servis, and so began to set as small an esteeme upon these mens 
curages, as they did upon there owne credits. Hee saw, by the Pro- 
log, w T hat sport might be expected in the play, and soe began to dispose 
of his affaires accordingly. Yet not knowing but that the paucity of 
his numbers being once knowne, to those in Towne, it might raise there 
hearts to a degree of curage, haueing so much the ods, and that mani- 
times number prevales against ressalution, he thought it not amiss, 
since the Lions strength was too weake, to strengthen the same with 
the Foxes Braines : and how this was to be efected you shall heare. 

For emediately he despacheth two or three parties of Horss, and Bacon sends 
about so many in each party, for more he could not spare, to bring in Gent ; w °- 
to the Camp some of the prime Gent: Women, whose Husbands were *■ camp, 
in towne. Where when arived he sends one of them to inform her what, 
owne, and the others Husbands, for what purposes he had brought them 
into the camp, namely, to be plac'd in the fore frunt of his Men, at such 
time as those in towne should sally forth upon him. 

The poore Gent: Women were mightely astonish'd at this project ; 
neather were there Husbands voide of amazements at this subtill in- 
vention. If Mf Fuller thought it strange, that the Di veils black gard 
should be enrouled Gods soulders, they made it no less wonderfull, that 
there innocent and harmless Wives should thus be entred a white garde 
to the Divell. This action was a Method, in war, that they were not 
well aquainted with (no not those the best inform'd in millitary affaires) 
that before they could com to pearce their enimies sides, they must be 
obliged to dart there wepons through there wives brest : By which 


meanes though they (in there owne parsons) might escape without 
wounds ; yet it might be the lamentable fate of there better halfe to 
drop by gunshott, or other ways be wounded to death. 

Whether it was these Considerations, or som others, I do not know, 
that kep their swords in there scabards : But this is manifest, That 
Bacon knit more knotts by his owne head in one day, then all the hands 
in Towne was able to untye in a wholl weeke : While these Ladyes 
white Aprons became of grater force to keepe the beseiged from salle- 
ing out then his works (a pittifull trench) had strength to repell the 
weakest shot, that should haue bin sent into his Legure, had he not 
made use of this invention. 

For it is to be noted that rite in his frunt, where he was to lodge his 
Men, the Governour had planted 3 grate Guns, for to play poynt blank 
upon his Men, as they were at worke, at about 100 or a 150 paces dis- 
tance ; and then againe, on his right hand, all most close aborde the 
shore, lay the ships, with ther broade sides, to thunder upon him if he 
should offer to make an onslaute : this being the onely place, by land, 
for him to make his entrey, into the Towne : But for your better satis- 
faction, or rather those who you may show this Naritiue to, who haue 
never bin upon the place, take this short description. 
The descrip- The place, on which the Towne is built, is a perfict Peninsulla, or 

tion of lames L L 

Towne. tract of Land, all most wholly incompast with Water. Haueing on the 
Sowth side the River (Formerly Powhetan, now called lames River) 
3 miles brode, Incompast on the North, from the east point, with a deep 
Creeke, rangeing in a cemicircle, to the west, with in 10 paces of the 
River ; and there, by a smalle Istmos, tacked to y e Continent. This 
Iseland (for so it is denominate) hath for Longitud (east and west) 
nere upo 2 miles, and for Lattitude about halfe so much, beareing in 
the wholl compass about 5 miles, litle more or less. It is low-ground, 
full of Marches and Swomps, which makes the Aire, especially in y e 
Sumer, insalubritious & unhelty : It is not at all replenish'd with 
springs of fresh water, & that which they haue in ther Wells, brackish, 
ill sented, penurious, and not gratefull to y e stumack ; which render the 
place improper to indure the commencement of a seige. The Towne 
is built much about the midle of the Sowth line, close upon the River, 
extending east and west, about 3 quarters of a mile ; in which is com- 
prehended som 16 or 18 howses, most as is the Church, built of Brick, 
faire and large ; and in them about a dozen ffamilles (for all the howses 
are not inhabited) getting there liveings by keepeing of ordnaries, at 
exstreordnary rates. 

1866.] "bacon's proceedings." 319 

The Governour understanding that the Gent: "Women, at the Le- 
gure, was, by order, drawne out of danger, resalued, if posible, to 
beate Bacon out of his trench ; which he thought might easelv be a nDey 

c c " made upon 

performed, now that his Gardian Angles had forsaken his Camp. Bacon. 
For the efecting of which he sent forth 7 or (as they say) 800 of 
his Aceomackians. who (like scholers goeing to schoole) went out with 
hevie harts, but returnd horn with light heeles ; thinkeing it better 
to turne there backs upon that storme, that there brests could not in- 
dure to strugle against, for feare of being gauled in there sides, or 
other parts of there bodys, through the sharpness of the wether ; which 
(after a terable noyse of thunder and lightning out of the Easte) began 
to blow with a powder (and som leade too as big as musquitt boolitts) 
full in there faces, and that with so grate a violence, that som off them 
was not able to stand upon there leggs, which made the rest betake 
them selues to there heeles ; as the onely expedient to save there lives ; 
which som amongst them had rather to haue lost, then to haue own'd 
there safty at the price of such dishonourable rates. 

The Governour was exstremly disgusted at the ill management of 
this action, which he exprest in som passionate terms, against those 
who merited the same. But in enlist, who could expect the event to 
be other ways then it was, when at the first notis given, for the de- 
signed salley to be put in execution, som of the officers made such 
crabed faces at the report of the same, that the Guner of Yorke Fort 
did proffer to purchase, for any that would buy, a Collonells, or a Cap- 
tains. Commission, for a chunke of a pipe. 

The next day Bacon orders 3 grate Guns to be brought into the 
Camp, two where of he plants upon his trench. The one he sets to 
worke (playing som calls itt. that takes delight to see stately structurs 
beated downe. and Men blowne up into the aire like Shutle Cocks) 
against the Ships, the other against the enterance into Towne, for to The GoTem- 

*- a our leaves 

open a pasage to his intended Storm, which now was resalued upon as Towne. 
he said, & which was prevented by the Governours forsakeing the 
place, and shiping himselfe, once more to Accomack ; takeing along 
with him all the Towne people, and there goods, leaveing all the grate 
Guns naled up, and the howses emty, for Bacon to enter at his pleas- 
ure, and which he did the next morning before day : Where, contrary 
to his hopes, he met with nothing that might satisfie eather him selfe 
or soulders desires, except few Horsses, two or three sellers of wine, 
and som small quantety of Indian Corne with a grate many Taud 




Bacon sets 
the Towne 
on fire. 

Goes over 
into Gloster. 

Bacon re- 
salue[s] to 
fight Brent. 

The Governour did not presently leaue lames River, but rested at 
an Ancor som 20 miles below the Towne, which made Bacon enter- 
taine som thoughts, that eather hee might haue a desire to re-enter his 
late left quarters, or return aud block him up, as he had Sf William. 
And that there was som probability S* W. might steare such a course 
was news from Potomack (a province within the North Verge of Ver- 
ginia) that Collonell Brent was marching at the head of 1000 Soulders 
towards Towne in vindication of the Governours quarill. The better 
to prevent Sf Williams designes (if he had a desire to returne) and to 
hinder his Conjuntion with Brent (after that he had consulted with his 
Cabinett Councell) he in a most barberous maner converts y e wholl 
Towne into flames, cinders and ashes, not so much as spareing the 
Church, and the first that ever was in Verginia. 

Haueing performed this Flagitious, and sacralidgious action (which 
put the worst of Sperits into a horid Consternation, at so in-humane a 
fact) he marcheth his men to the Greene spring (the Governours 
howse soe named) where haueing stade (feasting his Army at the Gov- 
ernours Cost) two or 3 days, till he was inform'd of Sf Williams Mo- 
tion, he wafts his soulders over the River, at Tindells point, in to 
Glocester County : takeing up his head quarters at Collonell Warners ; 
from whence hee sends out his Mandates, through the wholl County, 
to give him a Meeting at the Court howse ; there to take the ingage- 
ment, that was first promoted at the Midle Plantation : for as yet, in 
this County, it was not admited. While he was seduliously contriveing 
this affaire, one Cap* Potter arives in post haste from Rapahanock, 
with news that Coll: Brent was advanceing fast upon him (with a res- 
alution to fight him) at the head of a 1000 men, what horss what foote, 
if hee durst stay the commencement. Hee had no sooner red the Let- 
ter, but hee commands the Drums to beate, for the gathering his soul- 
ders under there Collours; which being don hee aquaints them with 
Brents numbers and resalutions to fight, and then demands theres ; 
which was cherefully answered in the affirmetiue, with showtes and 
acclemations, while the Drums thunders a March to meet the promised 
conflict. The Soulders with abundance of cherefullness disburdening 
them selues of all impediments to expedition, order, and good decipling, 
excepting there Oathes, and Wenches : the first where of they retain'd 
in imitation of there Commanders ; the other out of pitty to the poore 
whores ; who seeing so many Men going to kill one another, began to 
feare that if they staide behinde, for want of doing they might be un- 
don [( ] there being but a few left at horn, excepting ould men, to sett 

1866.] " bacon's proceedings." 321 

them on worke,) and so chose rather to dye amongst the soulders, then 
to be kep from there labour, and so dye for want of exercize. Be- 
sides they knew if fortune cast them into there enimys hands, they had 
nothing to be plundred of but there honisty ; and that, as too grate a 
burthen, and not fitt to be worn in a Camp they had left at horn, there- 
by to be found the more light, and fit for the servis they were des- 
tinated to. And then againe they had heard a pritty good carrecter of 
Brent, and they could not tell but that all or most of his Men might be 
as good as him selfe ; so that let the world go which way it would 
(Stand still with Ptollomye, or turne rownd like a whorlegigg with Co- 
pernicus) they were likely to com of with a saveing cast, the being 
onely to change there Masters, not the trade they were bound pren- 
tis to. 

Bacon had not marched above 2 or 3 days jurney (and those but 
short ones too, as being loth to tire his Laberours before they came to 
there worke) but he meets news in post hast, that Brents Men (not Brents men 
soulders) were all run away, and left him to shift for him selfe. For 
they haueing heard that Bacon had beate the Governour out o'th 
Towne they began to be afeard (if they should com with hi his reach) 
that he might beat them out of there lives, and so resalued not to come 
nere him. Collonell Brent was mightily astonish'd at the departure of 
his followers, saying that they had forsaken the stowtest man, and 
ruing'd the fairest estate in Verginia ; which was by there cowerdize, 
or disaffections, expos'd to the mercy of the Baconians. But they be- 
ing (as they thought) more obliged to looke after their owne concernes 
& lives, then to take notis, eather of his vallour, or estate, or of there 
owne Credits, were not to be rought upon by any thing that, he could do, 
or say ; contrary to there owne fancies. 

This buisness of Brents haueing (like the hoggs the devill sheard) 
produced more noyse then wooll, Bacon, according to the Summons, 
meets the Gloster men at the Court howse : where appeard som 6 or 7 The oath 

tendred to 

hundred horss and foot, with there Arms. After that Bacon, in a long the Gloster 
Harage, had tendred them the ingagement (which as yet they had not 
taken, and now was the onely cause of this Convention) one M* Cole 
offered the sence of all the Gloster men, there present : which was 
sum'd up in there desires, not to haue the oath imposed upon them, but 
to be indulged the benifitt of Neutralitie : But this he would not grant, 
telling off them, that in this there request they appear'd like the worst 
of sinners, who had a desire to be saved with the righteous, and yet, 
would do nothing whereby they might obtaine there salvation ; and so 



offering to go away, one Coll: Gouge (of his party) calls to him and 
tould him, that he had onely spoke to the Horss (meaneing the Troop- 
ers) and not to the foote. Bacon, in som passion, replide, he had 
spoke to the Men, and not to the Horss ; haueing left that servis for 
him to do, because one beast best would understand the meaneing of 
Mr. Wading, another. And because a minister, one Mr. Wading, did not onely re- 

a Minister, / fe * 

imprisson'd. fuse to take the Ingagement, but incouraged others to make him there 
example, Bacon commited him to the Gard ; telling off him that it 
was his place to Preach in the Church, not in the Camp : In the first 
he might say what he pleased, but in the last, he was to say no more 
then what should please him ; unless he could fight to better purpose 
then he could preach. 

The Gloster men haueing taken the ingagement, (which they did 
not till another meeteing, and in another place) and all the worke 
don on this side the Western Shore, Bacon thought it not a miss, but 
worth his labour, to go and see how the Accomackians did. It must 
be confest that he was a Gent: man of a Liberall education, and so 
consequently must be replenish'd with good maners, which inables, and 
obligeth all^ivell parsons both to remember, and repay, receued cur- 
Bacon de- tesces : which made him not to forget those kindenesses the Accomack- 

SJgnes to goe o , 

mack C ° * ans kestow'd, in his absence, on his friends, and there nighbours, the 
Verginians : and so now he resalued (since he had nothing ells to do) 
for to go and repay there kinde hearted vissitt. But first he thought 
good to send them word of his good meaneing, that they might not 
pleade want of time, for want oP knowledg, to provide a reception an- 
swerable to his quallety, and attendance. This was pritty faire play, 
but really the Accomackians did not halfe like it. They had rather his 
Hon? would haue had the patience to haue stade till he had bin invited, 
and then he should haue bin much more wellcora. But this must not 
hinder his jurnye ; if nothing ells enterveine they must be troubled, 
with a troublesom guest, as well as there neighbours had bin, for a grate 
M'hile together, to their exstreordnary charge, and utter undoeing. But 
there kinde, and very mercyfull fate, to whom they, and their Posteri- 
tye, must ever remane indebted, observeing there cares and feares, by 
an admireable, and ever to be cellibrated providence, removed the 
causes. For 

Bacon haueing for som time, bin beseiged by sickness, and now not 
able to hould out any longer ; all his strength, and provissions being 

oTbr is 68 s I )ent > surren dred up that Fort he was no longer able to keepe, into the 
hands of that grim and all conquering Captaine, Death ; after that he 

1866.] "bacon's proceedings." 323 

had implor'd the assistance of the above mentioned Minester, for the 
well makeing his Artickles of Rendition. The onely Religious duty 
(as they say) he was observ'd . to perform dureing these Intregues of 
affaires, in which he was so considerable an actor, and soe much con- 
searn'd, that rather then he would decline the cause, he be came so 
deeply ingaged in, in the first rise there of, though much urged by ar- 
guments of dehortations, by his nearest Relations and best friends, that 
he subjected him selfe to all those inconvenences that, singly, might 
bring a Man of a more Robust frame to his last horn. After he was 
dead he was bemoned in these following lines (drawne by the Man that 
waited upon his person, as it is said) and who attended his Corps to 
there Buriall place : But where depossited till the Generall day, not 
knowne, onely to those who are ressalutly silent in that particuler. 
There was many coppes of Verces made after his departure, calculated 
to the Lattitude of there affections who composed them ; as a rellish 
taken from both appetites I haue here sent you a cuple. 

Bacons Epitaph, made by his Man. 

. Death why soe crewill ! what no other way 
To manifest thy splleene, but thus to slay 
Our hopes of safety ; liberty, our all 
Which, through thy tyrany, with him must fall 
To its late Caoss 1 Had thy riged force 
Bin delt by retale, and not thus in gross 
Griefe had bin silent : Now wee must complaine 
Since thou, in him, hast more then thousand slane 
Whose lives and safetys did so much depend 
On him there lif, with him there fives must end. 

If 't be a sin to thinke Death brib'd can bee 
Wee must be guilty ; say twas bribery 
Guided the fatall shaft. Verginias foes 
To whom for secrit crimes, just vengance owes 
Disarved plagues, dreding their just disart 
Corrupted Death by Parasscellcian art 
Him to destroy ; whose well tride curage such, 
There heartless harts, nor arms, nor strength could touch. 

Who now must heale those wounds, or stop that blood 
The Heathen made, and drew into a flood ? 
Who i'st must pleade our Cause ? nor Trump nor Drum 
Nor Deputations ; these alass are dumb. 
And Cannot speake. Our Arms (though nere so strong) 
Will want the aide of his Commanding tongue, 
Which Conquer'd more than Ceaser : He orethrew 
Onely the outward frame ; this Could subdue 


The ruged workes of nature. Soules repleate 
With dull Child could, he'd annemate with heate 
Drawne forth of reasons Lynibick. In a word 
Marss and Minerva, both in Mm Concurd 
For arts, for arms, whose pen and sword alike 
As Catos did, may admireation strike 
In to his foes ; while they confess with all 
It was there guilt stiPd him a Criminall. 
Onely this differance doth from truth proceed 
They in the guilt, he in the name must bleed 
While none shall dare his Obseques to sing 
In disarv'd measures ; untill time shall bring 
Truth Crown'd w* h freedom, and from danger free 
To sound his praises to posterity. 

Here let him rest ; while wee this truth report 
Hee's gon from hence unto a higher Court 
To pleade his Cause : where he by this doth know 
Whether to Ceaser hee was friend, or foe. 

Vpon the Death of G: B. 

Whether to Ceaser he was Friend or Foe ? 
Pox take such Ignorance, do you not know ? 
Can he be Friend to Ceaser, that shall bring 
The Arms of Hell, to fight againt the King ? 
(Treason, Rebellion) then what reason haue 
Wee for to waite upon him to his Grave, 
There to express our passions ? Wilt not bee 
Worss then his Crimes, to sing his Ellegie 
In well tun'd numbers ; where each Ella beares 
(To his Flagitious name) a flood of teares ? 
A name that hath more soules with sorow fed, 
Then reched Mobe, single teares ere shed ; 
A name that fiTd all hearts, all eares, with paine, 
Untill blest fate proclamed, Death had him slane. 
Then how can it be counted for a sin 
Though Death (nay though my selfe) had bribed bin, 
To guide the fatall shaft ? we honour all 
That lends a hand unto a T[r]ators fall. 
What though the well paide Eochit soundly ply 
And box the Pulpitt, in to fiatterey ; 
Urging his Rethorick, and straind elloquence, 
T' adorne incoffin'd filth and excrements ; 
Though the Defunct (like ours) nere tride 
A well intended deed untill he dide ? 
'Twill be nor sin, nor shame, for us, to say 
A two fould Passion checker-workes this day 



Of Ioy and Sorow ; yet the last doth move 

On feete impotent, wanting strengtli to prove 

(Xor can the art of Logick yeild releife) 

How Ioy should be surmounted, by our greife. 

Yet that wee Gfve it cannot be denide, 

But 'tis because he was, not cause he dide. 

So wep the poore destresed, Ilyum Dames 

Hereing those nam'd, there Citty put in flames, 

And Country ruing'd ; If wee thus lament 

It is against our present Ioyes consent. 

For if the rule, in Phisick, trew doth prove, 

Eemove the cause, th' effects will after move, 

We haue oufliv'd our sorows ; since we see 

The Causes shifting, of our miserey. . > 

Nor is't a single cause, that's slipt away, 
That made us warble out, a well-a-day. 
The Braines to plot, the hands to execute 
Projected ills, Death Ioyntly did nonsute 
At his black Bar. And what no Baile could save 
He hath commited Prissoner to the Grave ; 
From whence there's no repreive. Death keep him close 
We haue too many Dwells still goe loose. 

Ingrams Proceedings. 

The Lion had no sooner made his exitt, but the Ape (by indubitable 
right) steps upon the stage. Bacon was no sooner removed by the hand 
of good providence, but another steps in, by the wheele of fickle for- 
tune. The Countrey had, for som time, bin guided by a company of 
knaves, now it was to try how it would behave it selfe under a foole. 
Bacon had not long bin dead, (though it was a long time be fore som takes up Ba- 
would beleive that he was dead) but one Ingram (or Isgrum, which you mission. 
w T ill) takes up Bacons Commission (or ells by the patterne of that cuts 
him out a new one) and as though he had bin his natureail heire, or 
that Bacons Commission had bin granted not onely to him selfe, but to 
his Executors, Administraters and Assignes, he (in the Millitary Court) 
takes out a Probit of Bacons will, and proclames him selfe his Suc- 

This Ingram, when that he came first into the Countrey, had gott 
upon his Back the title of an Esquire, but how he came by it may pus- 
sell all the Herolds in England to finde out, u[n]till he informs them of 
his right name : how ever, by the helpe of this (and his fine capering, 
for it is saide that he could dance well upon a Rope) he caper'd him 






selfe in to a fine (though short liv'd) estate : by marying, here, with a 
rich Widow, vallued at som hundreds of pounds. 

The first thing that this fine fellow did, after that he was mounted 
upon the back of his Commission, was to Spur, or Switch, those who 
were to pay obedience unto his Authorety, by geting him selfe pro- 
claimed Generall of all the forces, now raised, or here after to be raised, 
in Verginia : Which while it was performing at the head of the Army, 
the Milke-sop stoode with his hatt in his hand, lookeing as demurely as 
the grate Turks Muftie, at y e readeing som holy sentance, extracted 
forth of the Alchron. The Bell-man haueing don, he put on his hat, 
and his Ianessarys threw up there Caps ; crying out as lowde as they 
could Bellow, God save our new Generall, hopeing, no dout, but he, in 
imitation of the grat Sultaine, at his election, would haue inlarged there 
pay, or ells haue given them leave to haue made Iewes of y e best 
Christians in the Countrey : but he being more than halfe a jew him 
self, at present forbad all plundrings, but such as he him selfe should be 
parsonally at. 

It was not long before the Governour (still at Accomack) had inti- 
mation of Bacons death. He had a long time bin shut up in the Arke 
(as we may -say) and now thought good to send out a winged Messin- 
ger to see, if happely, y e Delluge was any whit abated ; and whether 
any dry-ground emerg'd its head, on which, with safety, he might sett 
his foot, without danger of being wetshod in blood, which accordingly 
he effected, under the command of one Ma Beverly : a parson calcu- 
lated to the Lattitude of the Servis, which required descretion, Curage, 
& Celerity, as qualetys wholly subservant to millitary affares : And 
all though he return d not with an Olive branch in his Mouth, the Hy- 
rogliph of peace, yet he went back with the Laurell upon his browes, 
the emblim of Conquest and tryumph, haueing snapt up one Coll: 
Hansford, and his party, who kep garde, at the Howse where Coll: 
Reade did once live. It is saide that Hansford, at (or a litle before) 
the onslaut, had forsaken the Capitole of Marss, to pay his oblations in 
the Temple of Venus ; which made him the easere preay to his eni- 
mies ; but this I haue onely upon report, and must not aver it upon my 
historicall reputation : But if it was soe, it was the last Sacryfize he 
ever after offred at the Shrine of that Luxurious Diety, for presently 
after that he came to Accomack, he had the ill luck to be the first Ver- 
ginian borne that dyed upon a paire of Gallows. When that he came 
to the place of Execution (which was about a Mile removed from his 
prisson) he seemed very well resalued to undergo the utmost mallize 


of his not over kinde Destinie, onely Complaineing of the maner of his 
death : Being obserued neather at the time of his tryall (which was by 
a Court Martiall) nor afterwards, to suplicate any other faviour, then 
that he might be shot like a Soulder, and not to be hang'd like a Dog. 
But it was tould him, that what he so passionately petitioned for could 
not be granted, in that he was not condem'd as he was merely a 
Soulder, but as a Rebell, taken in Arms against the King;, whose Laws 
had ordaind him that death. Dureing the short time he had to live, Hansford 

° ' Executed. 

after his sentance, he approved to his best advantage for the well fare 
of his soule, by repentance and contrition for all his Sinns, in general!, 
excepting his Rebelellion, which he would not acknowledg ; desireing 
the People, at the place of execution, to take notis that he dyed a Loyall 
Subject, and a lover of his Countrey ; and that he had never taken up 
arms, but for the destruction of the Indians, who had murthered so 
many Christians. 

The buisness being so w T ell accompish'd, by those who had taken 
Hansford, did so raise there Spirits, that they had no sooner deliver'd 
there Fraight, at Accomack, but they hoyse up there sailes, and back 
againe to Yorke River, where with a Marvellous celerity they surprise cheiseman 

° . J J * . and Wilford 

one Major Cheise-Man, and som others, amongst whom one Cap? Wil- surprised] 

Tby .Beverly. 

ford, who (it is saide) in the bickering lost one of his eyes, which he 
seem'd litle concern'd at, as knowing, that when he came to Accomack, 
that though he had bin stark blinde, yet the Governour would take 
care for to afford him a guide, that should show him the way to the 
Gallows. Since he had promised him a hanging, long before, as being 
one of those that went out with Bacon, in his first expedition against 
the Indians, without a Commission. 

This Cap* Wilford, though he was but a litle man, yet he had a 
grate heart, and was knowne to be no Coward. He had for som yeares 
bin an Interpreter betwene the English and the Indians, in whose 
affaires he was well aquainted, which rendred him the more acceptable 
to Bacon, who made use of him all along in his Indian "War. By 
birth he was the Second Son of a Kf, who had lost life and estate in the 
late Kings quarill, against the surnamed long Parliament, which forst 
him to Yerginia (the onely Citty of Refuge left in his Majesties 
dominians, in those times, for destresed Cavaliers) to seeke his for- 
tunes, which through his industerey began to be considerable, if the 
kindness of his fate had bin more perminent, and not destin'd his life 
to so reched a death. Major Cheisman, before he came to his triall, Cheiseman 
dyed in prisson, of feare, Greife, or bad useage, for all these are prisson. 



reported : and so by one death prevented another more dredfull to 
flesh and blood. 

There is one remarkeable passage reported of this Major Cheis- 
mans Lady, which because it sounds to the honour of her Sex, and 
consequently of all loveing Wives, I will not deny it a roome in this 

When that the Major was brought in to the Governor 8 presence, 
m* Cheis- and bv him demanded, what made him to ingage in Bacons desi°mes ? 

mans grate J . ° & n 

affections for Before that the Major could frame an Answer, to the Governours 

kerhusband. -xxr-n • -i ^ i 

demand ; his Wife steps in and tould his honf that it was her provoca- 
tions that made her Husband joyne in the Cause that Bacon contended 
for ; ading, that if he had not bin influenc'd by her instigations, he had 
never don that which he had don. Therefore (upon her bended knees) 

a kinde she desired of his honf, that since what her Husband had don, was by 
her meanes, and so, by Consequence, she most guilty, that shee might 
be hang'd, and he pardon'd. Though the Governouer did know, that 
what she had saide, was neare to the truth, yet he saide litle to her 

request, onely telling of her that she was a W . But his honf was 

angrey, & therefore this expression must be interprited the .efects of 
his passion, not his meaneing : For it is to be understood in reason, that 
there is not any Woman, who hath soe small affection, for her Husband, 
as to dishonour him by her dishonisty, and yet retaine such a degree 
of love, that rather then he should be hang'd, shee will be content to 
submit her owne life to the Sentance, to keep her husband from y e 

Cap* Fariow Cap* Carver & Capt. Farlow was now (or about this time) Exe- 
cuted, as is before hinted. Farlow was related to Cheisman, as he had 
maried Farlows Neice. When that he w r ent .first into the servis 
(which was presently after that Bacon had receued his Commission) 
he was Chosen Commander of those recrutes sent out of Yorke County, 
to Make up Bacons Numbers, according to the Gage of his Commis- 
sion, limited for the Indian Servis ; and by Sf William (or som one of 
the Councell) recommended to Bacon, as a fitt parson to be Com- 
mander of the saide party. These terms, by which he became ingaged, 
under Bacons Commands, he urged in his pley, at his triall : Ading, 
that if he had, in what he had don, denyed the Generalls orders, it 
was in his power to hang him, by the judgment of a Court Martiall ; 
and that he had acted nothing but in obedience to the Generalls 
Authority. But it was replide, against him, that he was put under 
Bacons command for the servis of the Countrey, against the Indians, 


1866.] " INGRAM'S PROCEEDINGS." 329 

which imploy he ought to haue kep to, and not to haue acted by yond 
his bounds, as he had don : And Since he went into the Army under 
the Governours orders, he was required to Search the Same, and see if 
he could finde one that Commissionated him to take up Arms in oppos- 
sition to the Governours Authority and parson : Neather had Bacon 
any other power, by his Commission (had the same bin never so legally 
obtained) but onely to make war upon the Indians. Farlow rejoyned, 
that Bacon was, by his Commission, to see that the Kings peace was 
kep, and to Suppress those that should indeviour to Perturbe the same. 
It was reply'd, this might be granted him, and he might make his 
advantage of it, but was required to consider, whether the Kings peace 
was to be kep in resisting the Kings emediate Governour, soe as to 
levy a War against him ; and so commanded him to be silent, while 
his sentance was pronounced. This man was much pittied by those 
who were aquainted with him, as one of a peaceable dispossition, and a 
good scholer, which one might thinke should haue inabled him to have 
taken a better estimate of his imployment, as he was aquainted with 
the Mathamaticks : But it seems the Asstrolabe, or Quadrant, are 
not the fitest instruments to take the altitude of a Subjects duty ; the 
same being better demonstrated by practicall, not Speculatiue observa- 

The nimble, and timely servis, performed by Major Beverly (before 
mentioned) haueing opened the way, in som measure, the Governour 
once more sallyeth out for the Westerne Shore, there to make triall Sr wm - re * 

J m moves to 

of his better fortune ; which now began to cast a more favourable Yorke RiTer - 
Aspect upon him and his affaires ; by removeing the maine obstickles 
out of the way, by a Death, eather Natureall, or violent, (the one the 
ordnary, the other the exstreordnary workings of providence) which 
had "with such pertinances, and violent perstringes, aposed his most 
Auspicious proceedings. The last time he came, he made choyce of 
lames River ; now he was resalued to set up his Rest in Yorke, as 
Jaauein the nearest Vicinety to Gloster County (the River onely enter- 
poseing betwene it and Yorke) in which, though the Enimy was the 
strongest (as desireing to make it the Seate of the Warr, in regard of 
severall locall covenencies) yet in it he knew that his friends was not 
the weakest, whether wee respect number, or furniture. It is trew 
they had taken the ingagement (as the rest had) to Bacon ; but hee 
being dead, and the ingagement being onely personall, was lade in the 
Grave with him ; for it was not made to him selfe, his heires, Execu- 
tors, administrater, and Assignes; if other ways, it might haue bin. 





The strength 
S' Will, 
had, at his 
coming to 

Beverly sur- 
priseth Cott: 
Harris in 

indued with a kinde of immortallety ; unless the Sword, or juster (or 
grater) power might hapen to wound it to death. But, how ever 
Bacon being Dead, and with him his Commission, all those, who had 
taken the ingagement, were now at liberty to go and chuse them selues 
another Master. 

But though his hon? knew that though they were discharged from 
the bindeing power of the oath, yet they were not free from the Com- 
manding power of those Men that was still in Arms, in persuance of 
those ends for which the ingagement was pretended to be taken : And 
that before this could be effected, those Men must first be beaten from 
there Arms, before the other could get there heeles at liberty, to do him 
any servis. Therefore he began to cast about how he might remove 
those Blocks which stoode in the Gloster Mens way: which being 
once don, it must take away all Pretences, and leave them with out all 
excuse, if they should offer to sitt still, when he, and his good provi- 
dence together, had not onely knock'd off there shackles, but eather 
imprisson'd there Iaylers, or tide them up to the Gallows. 

He had with him now in Yorke River 4 Shipps besides 2 or 3 
Sloopes. Three of the Ships he brought with him from Accomack : the 
other (a Marchantman, as the rest were) was som time before arived 
out of England, and in these about 150 Men, at his emediate com- 
mand ; and no more he had when he came into Yorke River : Where 
being setled in Consultation with his friends, for the Manageing of his 
affaires, to the best advantage ; he was informed that there was a party 
of the Baconians (for so they were still denominated, on that side, for 
destinction sake) that had setled them selues in there winter quarters, 
at the howse of one Mf Howards, in Gloster county. 

For to keepe these Vermin from breeding, in there warme Kenill, 
he thought good, in time, for to get them ferited out. For the accom- 
plishment of which peice of servis, he very secritly despacheth away 
a select number under the Conduct of Major Beverly, who very nimbly 
performed the same, haueing the good fortune (as it is saide) to catch 
them all a sleepe, And least the Good man of y e Howse should for- 
gett this good servis, that Beverly had don him, in removeing his (to 
him) chargable guess, with these sleepers, he convayes a good quan- 
tety of there Landlords goods aborde : the Baconians (where of one a 
Leif I Collonell) to remane .prissoners, and the goods to be devided 
amongst those whose servis had made them such, according to the Law 
of Arms; which Howard will haue to be the Law of HARMS, by 
placeing the first letter of his name before the vowill A. 

1866.] " INGRAM'S PROCEEDINGS." 331 

But in ernist (and to leave jesting) Howard did really thinke it 
hard measure, to see that go out of his store, by the Sword, which he 
intended to deliver out by the Ell, or yard. Xeather could his Wife 
halfe like the Markitt ; when she saw the Chapmen carey her Daugh- 
ters Husband away Prissoner, and her owne fine Cloathes goeing into 
Captivity ; to be sould by Match and pin ; and after worne by those 
who (before these times) was not worth a point ; Yet it is thought, 
that the ould Gent: Woman, was not so much concern'd that her Son 
in Law was made a prissoner, as her Daughter was vext, to see they 
had not left one Man upon the Plantation, to comfort, neather herself 
nor Mother. 

This Block (and no less was the Commander of the fore mention'd The Gioster 

men rise for 

sleepers) being removed out "of the way, the Gioster Men began to s*w. 
stir abrode : Not provoked thereto out of any hopes of geting, but 
through a feare of loseing. They did plainely perceue that if they 
them selues did not goe to worke, sombody ells would, while they (for 
there neglegence) might be compeld to pay them there wages ; and 
what that might com to they could not tell, since it was probable, 
in such Servises, the Laberours would be there owne Carvers; and it 
is commonly knowne, that Soulders makes no Conscience to take more 
then there due. 

The worke that was now to be don, in these parts (and further I I nia *fSh* 

r v ders at West 

cannot go for want of a guide) was cut out into severall parcells, accord- Pok- 
ing as the Baconians had devided the same. And first At Wests Point 
(an Isthmos which gives the Denomination to the two Rivers, Pomun- 
key and Mattapony (Indian Names) that branch forth of York Eiver, 
Som 30 Miles above Tindells point) there was planted a garde of about 
200 Soulders. This place Bacon had designed to make his prime 
Randevouze, or place of Retreat, in respect of severall locall Con- 
venencis, this place admited off, and which hee found fitt for his pur- 
pose, for sundry reasons. Here it was, I thinke, that Ingram did 
cheifely reside, and from whence he drew his recruts, of Men and Muni- 
tion. The next Parcell, considerable, was at Green-spring (the Gov- At Greene 
ernours howse) into which was put about 100 Men, and Boys, under 
the Command of on Cap* Drew; who was ressalutely bent (as he 
sade) to keep the place in spite of all oppossition, and that he might 
the better keepe his promise he caused all the Avenues, and approaches 
to the same, to be Baracado'd up, and 3 grate Guns planted to beate of 
the Assalents. A third parcell (of about 30 or 40) was put in to the At Con. Ba- 
Howse of Collonell Nath: Bacons (a Gent: Man related to him deceased, 


but not of his principles) under the Command of one Major Whaly, a 
stout ignorant Fellow (as most of the rest) as may be seene here after ; 
these were the most considerablest parteys that the Gloster Men were 
to deale with, and which they had promised to reduce to obediance, or 
other ways to beate them out of there lives, as som of them (perhaps 
not well aquainted with Millitary affairs, or too well conseated of there 
owne vallour) bosted to doe. 

The Parson that, by Commission, was to perform this worke, was 
one Major Lawrence Smith (and for this servis so intitled, as it is 
saide) a Gent: Man that in his time had hued out many a knotty peice 
of worke, and soe the better knew how to handle such ruged fellowes 
as the Baconians were famed to be. 

The place for him to Congregate his men at (I say Congregate, as 
a word not improper, since his second, in dignity, was a Minester, who 
had lade downe the Miter and taken up the Helmett) was at one Major 
Pates (in whose Howse Bacon had surrendred up both Life and Com- 
mission ; the one to him that gaue it, the other to him that tooke it) 
where there apeared men ennough to haue beaten all the Rebells in the 
Countrey, onely with there Axes and Hoes, had they bin led on by a 
good overseer. 

I haue eather heard, or haue read, That a Compleate Generall 

ought to be owner of these 3 induments : Wisdom to foresee, Expe- 

The proper- rience to chuse, and Curage to execute. He that wants the 2 last, can 

ties of a good , . 

Generall. _. never haue the first; since a wise Man will never undertake more 
then he is able to perform ; He that hath the 2 first, wanting the last, 
makes but a lame Commander ; since Curage is an inseperable Adjunct 
to the bare name of a Soulder, much more to a Generall : He that 
wants the second, haueing the first & the last, is no less imperfict then 
the other; since without experience, wisdom and curage (like yong 
Docters) do but grope in the darke, or strike by gess. 

Much about the time that the Gloster Men Mustred at M. Pates, 

Arisemgin there was a riseing in Midle sex, upon the same acount : Who were no 

Midlesex. ° -r» i , • , 

sooner gott upon ther feet, but y e Baconians resalues to bring them 

Waikiet on there knees. For the efecting of which Ingram speeds away one 

press it. P Walklett, his Leif* Generall, (a Man much like the Master) with a 

marches af- party of Horss, to do the worke. M. L. Smith was quickly inform'd 

ter vraikiett. U p 0n w h a t aren( j Walklett was sent, and so, with a Generous ressalu- 

tion, resalues to be at his heeles, if not before hand with him, to helpe 

his friends in there destress. And because he would not all together 

trust to others, in affaires of this nature, he advanceth at the head of 


his owne Troops, (what Horss what Foote for number, is not in my 
intillegence) leaveing the rest for to fortify Major Pates howse, & so 
speeds after Walklet who, before Smith could reach the required 
distance, had performed his Worke, with litle labour, and (hereing of 
Smiths advance) was prepareing to giue him a Reception answerable 
to his designements : Swareing to fight him though Smith should out 
number him Cent per cent ; and was not this a dareing ressalution of a 
Boy that hardly ever saw Sword, but in a Scaberd ? 

In the meane time that this buisnes was a doeing, Ingram under- Ingram takes 

°' & . the Gloster 

standing upon what designe M. L. Smith was gon about, by the advice Men at m. 
of his officers strikes in betwene him and his new made (and new 
mand) Garisson at M. Pates. He very nimbly invests the Howse, 
and then summons the Soulders (then under the command of the fore 
said Minester) to a speedy rendition, or otherways to stand out to 
Mercy, at there utmost perill. After som toos and froes about the 
buisness (quite beyond his text) the Minester accepts of Such Arti- 
cles, for a Surrender, as pleased Ingram, and his Mermidons, to grant. 

Ingram had no sooner don this jobb of jurnye worke (of which he 
was not a litle proud) but M. L. Smith (haueing retracted his March m. g. Smith 

1 ' \ o retracts his 

out of Midle-sex, as thinkeing it litle less then a disparagement to March from 
haue any thing to doe with Walklett) was up on the back of Ingram, 
before he was aware, and at which he was not a litle daunted, feareing 
that he had beate Walklett to peices, in Midlesex. But he perceue- 
ing that the Gloster Men did not weare (in there faces) the Coun- 
tinances of Conquerers, nor there Cloathes the marks of any late 
ingagement (being free from the honourable Staines of Wounds and 
Gun shott) he began to hope the best, and the Gloster men to feare 
the worst ; and what the properties of feare is, let Feltham tell you, 
who saith, That if curage be a good Oriter, feare is a bad Counceller, 
and a worss Ingineare. For insteade of erecting, it beates and batters 
downe all Bull works of defence : perswadeing the feeble hart that there 
is no safety in armed Troops, Iron gates, nor stone walls. In oppossi- 
tion of which Passion I will appose the Properties of it's Antithesis, 
and say That as som men are never valient but in the midst of dis- 
course, so others never manifest there Courage but in the midst of 
danger: Never more alive then when in the jawes of Death, crowded 
up in the midst of fire, smoke, Swords and gunns ; and then not so much 
laying about them through despareation, or to saue there lives, as 
through a Generosety of Spirit, to trample upon the lives of there 


For the saveing of Pouder and Shott (or rather through the before 
"tow chau- S to ment i° ne( ^ Generossety of Curage) one Major Bristow (on Smiths 
Ingram. side) made a Motion to try the equity, and justness of the quarill, by 
single Combett : Bristow proffering him selfe against any one (being 
a Gen*) on the other side ; this was noble, and like a Soulder. This 
Motion (or rather Challenge) was as redely accepted by Ingram, as 
proffer'd by Bristow ; Ingram Swareing, the newest Oath in fashion, 
that he would be the Man ; and so advanceth on foot, with sword and 
Pistell, against Bristow ; but was fetch'd back by his owne men, as 
douteing the justness of there cause, or in Consideration of the de- 
sparety that was betwene the two Antagonist. For though it might be 
granted, that in a private Condition, Bristow was the better man, yet 
now it was not to be alowed, as Ingram was intitled. 

This buisness not fadging, betwene the two Champions, the Gloster 
men began to entertaine strange, and new Ressalutions, quite Retrogade 
to there pretentions, and what was by all goodmen expected from the 
promiseing asspects of this there Leagueing against a usurping power. 
It is saide that a good Cause and a good Deputation, is a lawfull Au- 
thorety for any Man to fight by ; yet neather of these, joyntly nor 
Severally, hath a Coercive power, to make a Man a good Soulder : If 
he wants Courage, though he is inlisted under both, yet is he not 
The Gloster starling quoyne : he is at best but Coper, stompt with the Kings im- 
to Ingram, press, and will pass for no more then his just vallew. As to a good 
Cause, doutless, they had Satisfied themselves as to that, ells what were 
they at this time a Contending for, and for whom? And as for a good 
Deputation, if they wanted that, where fore did they so miserably be- 
foole them selves, as to run in to the mouths of there enimies, and there 
to stand still like a Company of Sheep, with the knife at there throtes, 
and never so much as offer to Bleat ; for the saving of there lives, lib- 
erties, Estates, and what to truly vallient men is of grater vallew then 
these, there Creditts ? all which now lay at the Mercy of there enimies, 
by a tame surrender of there Arms, and Parsons in to the hands of In- 
gram (with out Strikeing one Stroke) who haueing made all the cheife 
Men prissoners (excepting those who first run away) he dismist the 
rest to there owne abodes, there to Sum up the number of those that 
were eather slane or wounded, in this Servis. 
_ .„ . Much about this time, of the Gloster buisness, his hon r sends abrode 

Farrill at- ' ' 

temps the a party of Men, from off aboarde, under the Command of one Hubert 

Baconians r v ? 

under Farrill, to fferitt out a Company of the Rebells, who kep Gard at Coll. 

Whaly's r J L 

Command. Bacons, under the power of. Major Whaly, before mentioned. Coll. 


Bacon hiraselfe, and one Coll: Ludwell, came along with Farrill, to see 
to the Management of the enterprise ; about which they tooke all posi- 
ble care, that it might prove fortunate. For they had no sooner re- 
salued upon the onsett, but they consult on the Maner, which was to be 
effected by a Generossety paralell with the designe ; which required 
Curage, and expedition : and so concludes not to answer the Centreys 
by fireing ; but to take, kill, or drive them up to there Avenues, and 
then to enter pell mell with them in! to the how r se : this Method was 
good had it bin as w r ell executed, as Contrived. But the Centrey had 
no sooner made the Challinge, with his mouth, demanding who Corns 
there ? but the other answer with there Musquits (which seldom 
Speakes the language of friends) and that in soe loud a Maner, that it 
alarum'd those in the how 7 se to- a defence, and then in to a posture to 
salley out. Which the other perceueing (contrary to there first orders) 
wheeles of from the danger, to find a place for there securytie, which 
they in part found, behinde som out buildings, and from whence they 
fired one upon the other, giveing the Bullits leave to grope there owne 
way in the dark (for as yet it was not day) till the Generall was shot • 
through his loynes ; and in his fate all the soulders (or the grater part) 
through there hearts, Now t sunke in to there heels which they were now 
makeing use of instead of there hands, the better to saue there jackits, 
of which they had bin Certainely Stript, had they Com under there 
enimies fingers, who knowes better how to Steale then fight, not with- Famii aid. 
standing this uneven Cast of Fortunes Mallize. Being a Conflict, in 
which the losers haue cause to repent, and the winers Faith to giue 
God thanks ; unless with the same devotion Theives do when that they 
haue stript honist Men out of there Mony. Here was none but there 
Generall kild, whose Commission was found droping-wett with his owne 
blood, in his pockitt ; and 3 or 4 taken prisoners ; what wounded not 
knowne, if any, in there backs ; as there enimies say ; who glory'd more 
in there Conquest then ever Scanderbeg did, for the gratest victory he 
ever obtained against the Turkes. If S r Williams Cause were no bet- 
ter then his fortunes, hither to, how many prossellites might his disas- 
ters bring over to the tother side ? but God forbid that the justice of 
all quarills should be estimated by there events. 

Yet here in this action (as well as som other before) who can chuse 
but deplore the strange fate that the Governour was subjected to, in 
the evill choyce of his cheife-commanders, for the leadeing on his Mil- 
litary transactions ; that when his cause should com to a day of heare- 
ing, they should want Curage to put in there pleay of defence, against 


there Aclverssaiys arguments; and pittyfully to stand still and see 
themselues nonsuted, in every sneakeing adventure, or Action, that cal'd 
upon there Generossety, (if they had had any) to vindicate there indu- 
bitable pretences against a usurped power. 

It is trew Whalys Condition was desperate, and hee was resalved 
that his Curage should be conformable & as desperate as his Condition. 
He did not want intilligence how Hansford, and Som others, was sarved 
at Accomack ; which made him thinke it a grate deale better to dye 
like a Man, then to be hang'd like a Dogg ; if that his Fate would but 
give him the liberty of picking as well as he had taken the liberty of 
stealeing ; of which unsoulder-like quallety he was fowly guilty. But 
let Whaleys condition be never so desperate, and that he was resalud 
to Manage an oppossition against his Assalent according to his condi- 
tion, yet those in the Howse with him stoode upon other terms, being 
two thirds (and the wholl exseeded not 40) prest into the Servis, much 
against there will ; and had a grater antipethy against Whaly then they 
had any cause for to feare his fate, if he, and they too, had bin taken. 
As for that Objection, that Farrill was not, at this time, fully cured of 
those Wounds he receved in the Salley at Towne, which in this action 
proved detrimentall both to his strength and curage : Why then (if it 
was so) did he accept of this imploy (he haueing the liberty of refuse- 
ing) since none could be better aquainted with his owne Condition 
(eather for Strength or Courage) better then him selfe ? Certainely in 
this particuler, Farills foolish ostentation was not excuseable, nor S* 
William with out blame, to Comply e with his ambition, as he had no 
other parts to prove himselfe a Soulder, then a haire brain'd ressalu- 
tion to put him selfe forward in those affaires he had no more aquaint- 
ance with then what he had heard people talke off; For the falure of 
this enterprise (which must wholly be refer'd to the breach he made 
upon their sedulous determinations) which was (as is intimated before, 
to croude in to the Howse with the Centrey) was not onely injurious 
to there owne party, by leting slip so faire an occasion, to weaken the 
power of the enimy, by removeing Whaly out of the way, who was 
esteemed the Most Considerablest parson on that side ; but it was, and 
did prove of bad cosequence to the adjacent parts, where he kep gard: 
For where as before he did onely take ame where he might do mis- 
cheife, he now did mischeife with out takeing ame : before this unhapie 
conflict, he did levie at this, or that particuler onely, but now he shott 
Ingram a t Rovers, let the same lite where it would he matter'd nott. 

reduced by 

Grantham. Cap* : Grantham had, now, bin som time in Yorke River. A man unto 


whom Verginia is very much beholden for his neate contrivance in 
bringing Ingram (and som others) over to harken to reason. With In- 
gram he had som small aquaintance, for it was in his Ship that he came 
to Yerginia ; and so resalued to try if he might not doe that by words, 
which others could not accomplish w th Swords. Now all though he 
knew that Ingram was the Point, where all the lines of his contrivance 
were for to Center, yet he could not tell, very well, how to obtaine this 
point. For all though he did know that Ingram, in his private Condi- 
tion, was accostable enough ; yet since the Tit Mouse (by one of For- 
tunes figaryes) was becom an Elliphant, he did not know but that his 
pride, might be as immence as his power : since the Peacock (though 
bred upon a Dung-hill) is no less proud of his fine fethers then the 
princely Eagle is of his noble- curage. What Arguments Grantham 
made use of, to ring the Sword out of Ingrams hand, to me is not vis- 
able, more then what he tould me of; which I thinke was not Mercu- 
riall enough, against an ordnary Sophester. But to speake the truth, 
it may be imagin'd that Grantham (at this time) could not bring more 
reasons to Convince Ingram, then Ingram had in his owne head to 
Convince him selfe ; and so did onely a wate som favourable overtures 
(and such as Grantham might, it is posible, now make) to bring him 
over to the tother side. N'eather could he apprehend more reason in 
Granthams Arguments, then in his owne affaires, which now provok'd 
him to dismount from the back of that Horss which he wanted skill, 
and strength, to Manidge ; especially there being som, of his owne 
party, wateing an opertunity to toss him out of the Sadie, of his new 
mounted honours ; and of whose designes he wanted not som intilli- 
gence, in the Countinances of his Mermidons ; who began for to looke 
a skew upon this, there Milk-sopp Generall ; who they judged fitter to 
dance upon a Rope, or in som of his wenches lapps, then to caper, 
eather to Bellonies Bagpipe, or Marsses whisle. 

But though Ingram was won upon, to turn honist, in this thing 
(thanks to his necessitye, which made it an act of Compultion, not a 
free will offering) yet was the worke but halfe don, untill the Soulders 
were wrought upon to follow his example. And though he him selfe, 
or any body ells, might command them to take up there Arms, when 
any mischeife was to be don : yet it was a question whether he, or any 
in the Countrye, could command them to lay downe there Arms, for to 
efect or do any good. In such a case as this, where Authority wants 
power, descretion must be made use of, as a vertue Surmounting a 
brutish force. Grantham, though he had bin but a while in the Coun- 



trey, and had seene but litle, as to mater of Action, yet he had heard a 
grate deale ; and So Much that the name of Authority had but litle 
power to ring y e Sword out of these Mad fellows hands, as he did 
perceue. And that there was more hopes to efect that by smoothe 
words, which was never likely to be . accomplish'd by rough deeds ; 
there fore he resalued to accoste them, as the Divell courted Eve, 
though to a better purpose, with never to be performed promises : 
counting it no sin to Ludificate those for there good, that had bin de- 
ceued by Others to there hurt. He knew that Men were to be treated 
as such, and Children according to there childish dispossitions : And 
all though it was not with both these he was now to deale, yet he was 
to observe the severall tempers of those he was to worke upon. 
Grantham at What number of Soulders was, at this time, in Garrisson at West 

West Point. ' ' 

Point, I am not Certane : It is saide about 250, sum'd up in freemen, 
searvants and slaues ; these three ingredience being the Compossition 
of Bacons Army, ever since that the Governour left Towne. These 
was informed (to prepare the way) two or three days before that Grant- 
ham came to them, that there was a treaty on foote betwene there 
Generall, and the Governour ; and that Grantham did manely promote 
the same, as he was a parson that favoured the cause, that they were 
contending for. 

When that Grantham arived, amongst these fine fellowes, he was 
receued with more then an ordnary respect ; which he haueing repade, 
with a suteable deportment, he aquaints them with his Commission, 
which was to tell them, that there was a peace Concluded betwene y e 
Governour and there Generall ; an since him self had (in som meas- 
terms West- ures) used his indeviours, to bring the same to pass, hee beg'd of the 
surrendred. Governour, that he might haue the hon* to com and aquaint them 
with the terms ; which he saide was such, that they had all cause to 
rejoyce at, then any ways to thinke hardly of the same ; there being a 
Compleate satisfaction to be given (by the Articles of agreement) ac- 
cording to every ones particuler intress ; which he sum'd up under 
these heads. And first, those that were now in Arms (and free Men) 
under the Generall, were still to be retained in Arms, if they so 
pleased, against the Indians. Secondly, And for those who had a desire 
for to return horn, to there owne abodes, care was taken for to haue 
them satisfide, for the time they had bin out, according to the alowance 
made the last Assembley. And lastly, those that were sarvants in Arms, 
and behaued them selues well, in there imployment, should emediately 
receve discharges from there Indentures, signed by the Governour, or 


Sequetary of State ; and there Masters to receue, from the publick, a 
valluable Satisfaction, for every Sarvant, so set free (Marke the words) 
proportionally to the time that they haue to serve. 

Upon these terms, the Soulders forsake West-Point, and goe with 
Grantham to kiss the Governours hands (still at Tindells point) and 
to receue the benifitt of the Articles mentioned by Grantham ; where 
when they came (which was by water, them selues in one vessill, and 
there Arms in another ; and so contrived by Grantham, as he tould me 
him selfe, upon good reason) the Sarvants and Slaves was sent horn to 
there Masters, there to stay till the Governour had leasure to signe 
there discharges ; or to say better, till they were free, according to the 
Custom of the Countrey, the rest was made prissoners, or entertain'd 
by the Governour, as hee found them inclin'd. 

Of all the obstickles, that hath, hither to, lane in the Governours 
way, there is not one (which hath falne with in the Verge of my intilli- 
gence) that hath bin removed by the Sword; excepting what was per- ^ re ? ne 
formed under the Conduct of Beverly: How this, undertaken by secured for 

J ' J S[r] William. 

Grantham, was effected, you haue heard ; though badly (as the rest) 
by me Sum'd up. The next, that is taken notis of, is that at Greene 
Spring (before hinted) under the Command of one Cap* Drew, formerly 
a Miller (by profession) though now Dignifide with the title of a Cap* 
and made Governour of this Place by Bacon, as he was a person form- 
erly behoulden unto S5 William ; and soe, by way of requiteall, most 
likely to keepe him out of his owne Howse. This Whisker of Whor- 
ly-Giggs, perceueing (now) that there was More Water coming downe 
upon his Mill, then the Dam would hould, thought best in time, to for- 
tifye the same, least all should be borne downe before he had taken 
his toule. Which haueing effected (makeing it the strongest place in 
the Country what with grate and small Gunns) he stands upon his 
gard, and refuseth to Surrender, but upon his owne terms ; Which be- 
ing granted, he secures the place till such time as S5 William should, in 
parson, com and take possesion of the same : And was not this pritely, 
honestly, don, of a Miller. 

The gratest difficulty, now to be performed, was to remove Drum- 
mond and Larance out of the way, These two Men was excepted out 
of the Governours pardon, by his Proclamation of Iune last, and 
severall papers since, and for to dye without Marcy, when ever taken : 
as they were the cheife Incendiarys, and promoters to, and for Bacons Short carreer 
Designes ; and by whose Councells all transactions were, for the grater mond & 
part, managed all along on that Side. Drummond was formerly Gov- 




& Coll. 
Larance at 
the Brick- 
howse, in 

ernour of Carolina, and all ways esteemed a Parson of such induments, 
where Wisdom and honisty, are contending for supriority ; which ren- 
dred him to be one of that sort of people, whose dementions are not to 
be taken, by the line of an ordnary Capassety. Larance was late one 
of the Assembley, and Burgis for Towne, in which he was a liver. 
He was a Parson not meanely aquainted with such learning (besides his 
natureall parts) that inables a Man for the management of more then 
ordnary imployments, Which he subjected to an eclips, as well in the 
transactings of the present affaires, as in the darke im braces of a 
Blackamoore, his slaue : And that in so fond a Maner, as though Venus 
was cheifely to be worshiped in the Image of a Negro : or that Buty 
consisted all together in the Antiphety of Complections : to the noe 
meane Scandle, and affrunt, of all the Vottrisses in or about towne. 

When that West j)oint was surrendred, and Greene Spring secur'd, 
for the Governour, these two Gen*, was at the Brick-howse, in New 
Kent : a place Situate allmost oppossitt to West point, on the South 
side of York River, and not 2 Miles removed from the said point, with 
som Soulders under there Command ; for to keepe the Governours Men 
from landing on that Side ; he haueing a Ship, at that time, at Ancor 
nere the place. They had made som attempts to have hindred Gran- 
thams designes (of which they had gain'd som intilligence) but there 
indeviours not fadging, they sent downe to Coll. Bacons to fetch of the 
Gard there, under the Command of Whaley, to reinforce there owne 

Whaly was quickly won to obay the commands of his Masters, 
especially such in whose servis he might expect to receue good Wages : 
forth with drawing ou[t] his Men, amongst whom was Som Boys, all 
laden with the goods, and last remanes of Coll. Bacons Estate, an[d] 
with all posible Speed (after a March of 30 Miles,) joyne[d] with 
Larance ; where they Mustred in all (besides (Co[n]cubines and 
Whores, Whaley haueing added his to the r[est?] about 300 Men 
and Boys. With which number, being [too] weake for to desend downe 
in to the heart of the Coun[trey,] (now clear'd of the Baconians, or 
possest by the other [par]ty) they march up higher in to New Kent, 
as far [as] Coll: Gouges, thinking (like the snow ball) to incr[ease by] 
there rouleing. But finding that in stead of increasing] there number 
decreast ; and that the Moone of there fortune was now past the full, 
they broke up how[se-]keeping, every one shifting for him selfe, as his 

* The first edition of this narrative ends here. — Eds. 

1866.] " INGRAM'S PROCEEDINGS." 341 

ta[ste?] or feares directed; Whaly and Larance makein[g a] cleare 
escape ; but which way, or to what place, not knowne. Coll. Gouge 
and the rest, went to there own[e ?] Howses, from whence they were 
brought upon there [trijall, aborde a Ship, at Tindells point ; and from 
thence ([all] that were condem) [tic] sent to the place of Execution. 
[A]mongst which (of those that Suffer'd) were one M* H[all] Clarke 
of New Kent Court ; a parson of Neate Ingenuo[us] parts, but 
adicted to a more then ordnary prying in [to] the Secrits of State 
affaires, wiiich som yeares las[t pa]st, wrought him in to the Gov- 
ernours [dis]pleasure. A[nd] which (tis posible) at this time was [not] 
forgott, [but] was lade to his charge upon his tria[ll(] which w[as 
by] a Court Martiall) to me is not visa[ble?] He nev[er hav]ing 
appear'd as a Soulder publickly, [yet] was co[ndemn'd] to be hang'd 
with 3 others (by Coll: [Bacons ?]s howse, [viz.] Major Page, (once 
My Sarvant, at his [fir]st coming [into] the Countrey, Cap* Yong, 
and one [Harris] . . . rtiall to Bacons Army. 

This execution being over, the Govern [our] began to be wery of 
the Water: and findeing that he be[g]an to gether Strength, resalues 
to go a shore. There w[as] Considerable Cordialls administred to 
him, in litle more then a weekes [ti]me, which he found had don him 
a grate deale of [g]ood ; the Surrender of Wests point, Green spring, 
& [t]he death of the fore Mentioned Men. The place where [he] went 
on Shore, was at Coll: Bacons ; now clear'd [of] the Rebells, by the 
hapey removeall of Whally, after [he] had (by the aideing helpe of his 
party) devovered [no] less then 2000 pounds (to my certaine knowl- 
edg) [of] Coll. Bacons estate ; the grater part in Store goods. [Here] 
he meets with M! Drummond, taken the day be[fore] in New Kent, 
where he had absconded, ever since [th]e brakeing up howse keepe- 
ing at Coll: Gouges. The [Govern]our ... a more then ordnary 
gladness for to [see h]im, which (as he saide) did him more good then 
y e [sigh]t of his owne Brother. If the Governour was soe [glad] to 
see Drummon, Drommon was no less sad to see [his h]on^ the sight of 
whom (with out the help of an As[trol]egr) might inform him what 
death he should [die,] and that he had not many days to live. That 
night [he] was sent aborde a Ship in Irons ; while the Governor [re-] 
moved, the next day, in his Coach, to Mf Brays : a [ jour]nye of some 
5 Miles. The next day after, being Sater[day,] Drummond was, by a 
party of Horss (who receu[ed him] at Coll: Bacons) convayed to his 
try all : In his way [thi]ther he complained very much that his Irons 
hurt [him], and that his fine Cloake (as he called it, a green- . . . for 


the H[a]ngman had taken his fur'd Coate from [him,] (a bad presage) 
did much hinder him in his way. [When?] proffer'd [a h]orss, to 
ride, he refused, and sade he [would] com to ... e to his port before 
he was preparde [wi]th his Anc[hor] : ading that he did very much 
fere [Sf Wil]liam w[ould] not al[low h]im time to put of his dir[ty 
cl]othes b[efore] he went to lye downe upon his ev[en]ing b[e]d. 
[He s]aide, welcom be the grace of God, for [it would clea]nse him 
from all his filth and pollution. He ex [pressed] abundance of thankes 
for being permitted to res[t hi]m selfe upon the Roade, while he 
tooke a pipe of Tobacco. He discoursed very much, with that parson 
who comm[anded] his gard, concerning the late troubles, affirming that 
he was wholly innoscent of those ... * 

The Librarian, Mr. Amory, read a letter from Frank- 
lin B. Dexter, dated "New Haven, July 14, 1866," 
communicating a more perfect copy of the letter written 
by the Bishop of London, Edmund Gibson, and printed 
in the "Proceedings" for March, 1865. The copy now 
sent furnishes the date of the letter, " Fulham, Sep't. 
f. 3 d 1724," and the address, "To y e Rev d M* Miles, at 
Boston, New England." 

* The manuscript is evidently contemporaneous with the events described, or 
written not long after their occurrence. It is in the form of a small octavo, the text, 
with the heading, measuring five and a half by three and a half inches, not paged. 
The portion which remains contains fifty-two pages. The chirography is remarkably 
distinct. Several leaves being destroyed at the beginning and end, there is no title, 
except the running-heading on each page, viz., "The Indians Proseedings," "Ingram's 
Proceedings," &c, as in the reprint. Upon the outside of the cover, in a later hand, 
is written "Bacons proceedings,] July 27, 1764." Many of the remaining leaves are 
much injured by time. 

The unknown writer of the manuscript, near the close, on page 341, of this vol- 
ume, says that Major Page, one of the rebels executed, was " once my sarvant at his 
first coming into the countrey." In " a list of those that have been executed for y° late 
rebellion in Virginia," furnished by Governor Berkeley, and published in the first vol- 
ume of Force's "Historical Tracts," is the following: " One Page, a carpenter, form- 
erly my servant," &c. The query is at once suggested, whether Sir William Berkeley, 
the Governor, was the author of this manuscript. It was evidently written by one who 
did not sympathize with the rebel movement, but from some criticisms, in the narra- 
tive, on the motives and conduct of Sir William, it seems hardly possible that he could 
have been the writer. — Eds. ■ 

1866.] LETTER OF MR. DEANE. 343 

The acknowledgments of the Society were ordered to 
be made to Mr. Dexter. 

On motion of Mr. Amory, it was Ordered, That a 
printed circular be sent to the different literary and 
historical associations, and also to individuals, to request 
the titles and character of manuscript collections in 
their possession, with a view of completing a catalogue 
of the same for the use of historical students ; the said 
circular to be prepared and distributed under the super- 
vision of the Standing -Committee. 

The President read a long and interesting letter from 
the Recording Secretary, Mr. Deane, dated " London, 
13th July, 1866," describing his visit to interesting 
localities in England. These included the old city of 
Chester, Warwick, Stratford-upon-Avon, Kenilworth, 
and Oxford ; also London and places in its neighbor- 

Mr. Deane writes, that the Bodleian Library at Oxford 
furnished many attractions for him. Among some fine speci- 
mens of early English printing, he saw there the celebrated 
" Oxford book," purporting to have been printed at Oxford in 
"m.cccc.lxviii" (1468), "Exposicio Sancti Jeronimi in Sim- 
bolo Apostolorum." This was some years before the printing 
of Caxton's first book in England ; and it has hitherto fur- 
nished a fruitful subject of discussion among bibliographers 
and among writers of the history of Printing in England, 
as the existence of a book with this date seemed to contest 
Caxton's claim to the honor of having introduced printing 
into England. The better opinion seems to be, that an " x " 
was accidentally dropped out of the date, and that its true 
date is m.cccc.lxxviii (1478). 

Mr. Deane also examined, in the Bodleian Library, a copy 


of the rare original edition of Hariot's " Briefe and true 
report of the new found land of Yirginie ; " a small quarto 
of forty-four pages, besides the title and dedication, of one 
leaf each ; text, A 3 to F 4, in fours. " Imprinted at London, 
1588." This " report " was reprinted the next year by Hak- 
luyt, in his first folio ; and in the year following by De Bry, 
as the first part of his celebrated work. 

A copy of the exceedingly rare tract, in the first edition, 
of " Smith's New Englands Trials/' London, 1620, was there 
examined by him. It consists of only sixteen pages of text, 
and one leaf each of title and dedication. No copy of this 
tract is known by him to exist in this country. 

The University appropriate annually about two thousand 
pounds for the library. 

Mr. Deane visited the new Library of University College, 
and saw the books, there deposited, which had been pre- 
sented to Prof. Groldwin Smith when he was in this country 
last year. The volumes appeared to be about G.Ye hundred 
in number, and included a complete set of this Society's pub- 

On arriving in London, Mr. Deane found much to interest 
him, as connected with our early history, in the Record 
Office in Fetter Lane, which contains the manuscripts, down to 
a certain period, that were recently scattered in various de- 
positories, as the Chapter House, the State-Paper Office, Carl- 
ton Ride, the Tower of London, and the Rolls Office ; and 
every facility is now granted for consulting them. 

That world of wonders, the British Museum, presented 
great attractions in its books and manuscripts. Its admirable 
system of administration renders its treasures available to 
scholars, whatever branches of study they may be pursuing. 
Ten thousand pounds per annum are appropriated for the 
Library alone. 

Mr. Deane visited the Bishop of London's palace at Ful- 
ham, in the library of which is deposited the manuscript of 

1866.] LETTER OF MR. DEANE. 345 

Governor Bradford's " History of Plymouth Plantation/' first 
printed by this Society in 1856. Through the courtesy of the 
bishop, Mr. Deane was permitted to examine this venerable 
relic, which is in excellent preservation, clear and perfect 
throughout; and he embraced the opportunity to collate it 
to a considerable extent with the printed copy. Prince was 
very careful and minute in what he wrote respecting this 
manuscript, how and where he obtained it, &c. ; and his 
memoranda appear on the blank leaves at the beginning. 
The larger part of this writing was copied by Mr. Hunter, 
and was printed in the Editorial Preface to the work as pub- 
lished in the Society's Collections. But on the next page is 
the following, which may have escaped Mr. Hunter's notice : — 

" But major Bradford tells me & assures me that He only lent this 
Book of his Grandfather's to Mr Sewall, & that it being of his Grand- 
father's own hand writing He had so high a value for it that he wou'd 
never Part with y e Property, but wou'd lend it to me & desired me to 
get it, which I did, & write dawn this that so major Bradford & his 
Heirs may be known to be the Right owners." 

The printed book-plate, which appears in most of the 
volumes in the New-England Library, is pasted on one of 
those blank leaves. It reads as follows : — 

u This Book belongs to the New England Library Begun to be col- 
lected by Thomas Prince on his entring Harvard College July 6, 
1703, and was given by" 

The late Bishop of London has written under the book- 
plate the following : — 

" It now belongs to the Bishop of London's Library at Fulham." 

It is supposed that the book-plate was placed in these 
volumes of the New-England Library after Prince's death, 
which occurred in 1758. 

Mr. Deane says that there are two other manuscript books 

at Fulham, — parchment-bound folios, — which once belonged 

to the New England Library* One is a commonplace book, in 



which are contained memoranda on various subjects which 
are specified in a table at the beginning of the book, com- 
prising, for instance, " Civil Government ; " " Church Govern- 
ment;" "Fathers, their defects and excellences;" "Scripture, 
its history, canons, &c. ; " " Heresies and Schisms ; " " Coun- 
cells and Synods " ; &c. 

The other is a Dictionary of Authors, whose names are 
arranged under different specified heads, as History, Lan- 
guages, Mathematics, Divinity, Medicine, &c. Its purpose 
is thus stated in a note on a fly-leaf: " To write down the 
Lives and Characters of all the Authors in those Arts & 
Sciences which I intend to gain an Insight into." In pursu- 
ance of this object, a short account of each author is sub- 
joined to his name.* 

Mr. Deane expresses the opinion, that these volumes, with 
Bradford's manuscript History, were taken to England by 
Governor Hutchinson, when he left Boston in 1774, he being 
the last person known to have had the History in his pos- 

These are but a few selections from the topics em- 
braced in Mr. Deane's letter. 

* Mr. Deane did not inspect these two books when he was at Fulham ; and, for the 
particular description above given, he expresses himself indebted to the courtesy of the 
Eev. E. H. Fisher, the accomplished chaplain of the Bishop of London, who furnished 
it to him a few days after his visit to Fulham. These volumes were represented to 
be in Prince's hand, which is true. But they are not in the handwriting of Thomas 
Prince. They are the memorandum books of the Rev. Nathan Prince, a distinguished 
brother of Thomas Prince. Our associate, Samuel F. Haven, Esq., was at Fulham 
subsequently to the visit of Mr. Deane, and inspected these books. He says that each 
of the two volumes contains on the fly leaf this memorandum, in the handwriting of 
Thomas Prince: 

" Thomas Prince his Book, Boston, Jan. 18, 1748-9. This book belongs to the New 
England Library, begun to be collected by Thomas Prince upon his entring Harvard 
College, July 6, 1703, and was given by s? Prince to s^ Library in memory of his dear 
brother, the Rev. Mr. Nathan Prince, M.A., formerly Fellow and Tutor of Harvard Col- 
lege in Cambridge. Born at Sandwich Nov. 30, 1698, and died at y e Island of [Ruatan, 
one of the West India Islands] about July 25, 1748, and made this Ms. before he left 
the College in 1742." 



A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day, September 13, at eleven o'clock, a.m. ; the 
President, the Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, in the chair. 

The Librarian announced donations from the City of 
Boston ; the City of Roxbury ; the American Numis- 
matic and Arch geological Society ; Brown University ; 
the Essex Institute ; the Massachusetts Horticultural 
Society ; the Massachusetts Medical Society ; the Mer- 
cantile Library Association of New York ; the New- 
England Loval Publication Society ; the Society of 
Antiquaries of London ; the Trustees of the Cooper 
L'nion for the Advancement of Science and Art ; the 
Proprietor of the "Savannah Daily Republican"; Mr. 
George Arnold ; James B. Bateman, Esq. ; James L. 
Butler, Esq. ; Henry B. Dawson, Esq. ; William W r . 
Dougall, Esq. ; Professor Daniel C. Gilman ; Hon. 
Samuel Hooper; Adjutant- General William Irvine; 
Benjamin P. Johnson, Esq. ; Nathaniel Paine, Esq. ; 
Hon. John G. Palfrey ; Hon. Alexander H. Rice ; 
J. Mason Warren, M.D. ; Mr. George Derby Welles ; 
Hon. Henry Wilson; F. A. Wood, Esq. ; Mrs. Joseph 
E. Worcester; and from Messrs. Green, Latham, C. 
Robbins, and Winthrop, of the Society. 

The Corresponding Secretary read a letter of accept- 
ance from George Peabody, Esq., who was elected an 
Honorary Member at the last meeting of the Society. 


The President read an interesting letter addressed to 
him by the Recording Secretary, dated "London, Au- 
gust 8th, 1866," containing a relation of his visit to vari- 
ous memorable historic places in England and Scotland ; 
and especially to the localities connected with the history 
of America, — particularly to Boston, to the old church 
in the parish of Austerfield, in which Bradford was bap- 
tized ; to Scrooby, where Brewster lived, in whose house 
Bradford worshipped and Robinson preached; to St. 
Sepulchre's Church, in London, beneath the pavement 
of which John Smith, of Virginia and New England 
fame, lies buried. 

Mr. Brigham read a letter from Joseph Williamson, 
Esq., dated " Belfast, Maine, September 6, 1866," on 
presenting to the Society a copy of the " Hancock Ga- 
zette and Penobscot Patriot," of October 22, 1823, con- 
taining the following deposition relative to the sword 
said to have been worn by General Joseph Warren at 
the battle of Bunker Hill : — 


In one of our recent numbers we stated having received documents 
in relation to the sword with which the lamented Gen. Warren fell 
at the battle of Bunker Hill. At the request of Captain Cornelius 
Dunham of this town, the proprietor of the sword, we this day pub- 
lish a copy of the declaration establishing its identity. The original 
declaration, and the sword, are now in the possession of the Hon. 
William Davis of Plymouth, Massachusetts. With those who have 
long known Capt. Dunham, no doubt can exist of the correctness of 
his «tatement, according to his best recollections ; nor of his sincere 
and firm belief that the sword he possesses is unequivocally the identi- 
cal sword used by Warren, at the memorable battle in which he fell. 

1866.] THE SWORD OF WARREN. 349 


I, Cornelius Dunham, gentleman, of the age seventy-four years, 
born in that part of the town of Plympton, now called Carver, in the 
county of Plymouth, and Commonwealth of Massachusetts ; now an 
inhabitant of the town of Belfast, in the county of Hancock, State of 
Maine ; being, by the mercy of God, of sound mind and memory, do 
declare, testify and say — that in the year 1775 I was in the capacity 
of seaman on board the schr. Priscilla of Plymouth, John Foster 
"Williams, master, returning from the West Indies, via Philadelphia J 
being off Nantucket shoals about six or eight weeks after the memor- 
able battle of Bunker Hill, we were captured by the British squadron 
which was then proceeding to take the neat stock from Gardener's 
Island, near New London. 

A prize-master and crew were put on board said schooner, and or- 
dered to Boston. Myself, my brother James, and Samuel Rider of 
Plymouth, being sick, were permitted to remain on board the schooner, 
which soon after arrived in Boston. We remained on board some 
weeks, and were then all taken to Halifax, in a schooner belonging to 
Samuel Jackson of Plymouth, which had been commanded by Capt. 
Cornelius White ; but was then under the command of L<emuel God- 

After we recovered from our sickness we found some friends at 
Halifax ; and I was there employed in the store of Mr. William Lam- 
bert, who may be now living in the city of Boston. While employed 
in Mr. Lambert's store, the servant of a British officer wished me to 
purchase of him a sword ; and ascertaining by a certificate that he was 
authorized to sell it, I accordingly did purchase it. — After the pur- 
chase, he informed me it was the sword taken from " Doctor Warren 
immediately after he fell at the battle of Bunker Hill" I had no sus- 
picion of this fact till after I had paid him for it. I asked him if his 
master would vouch for the truth of what he had alleged. He an- 
swered me " he would." I then went with him to his master, whom I 
found to be an officer and a gentleman ; who, according to my best 
recollection was a colonel, and about thirty years of age. The officer 
told me that he had taken the same sword from Gen. Warren, when 
lying dead on the battle ground ; and that he gave it to his servant. 
The officer also informed me that " General Warren fell not far from 
the Redoubt " — these being the words he used, as I particularly re- 
member ; and that after the British entered the redoubt he saw Warren 


before lie fell. The officer remarked that he endeavored to prevent his 
men from firing, but could not ; and that Warren, remaining too long 
on the ground he had defended, was shot dead in his view. The officer 
likewise informed me that Warren was buried in common with the rest 
of the dead. I had not been in possession of the sword an hour when 
I was offered a great price for it by a Mr. Robinson, of Philadelphia, 
who was very desirous to possess it ; but I was not willing to part with 
it for any price. Mr. Lambert, seeing me so much attached to the sword, 
gave me a gun, and a French gentleman gave me, at the same time, a 
cartouch box. — On my return to Plymouth in 1777 I gave general 
information that I had purchased at Halifax the sword which the 
late Gen. Warren wore at the battle of Bunker Hill; and hundreds 
had knowledge of it as such, and frequently saw it. I never took the 
sword to sea with me, but left it at home as a precious relic. I 
once equipped myself with it and my gun, on the alarm of a descent 
of the British at Fairhaven ; but before I reached that place, they had 
reimbarked. The time of my purchasing the sword was after the 
British evacuated Boston, and before the fleet sailed from Halifax for 
New York. 

From the information given by the British officer, I then had not, 
nor have I since had, the least doubt of this being the sword of the 
late Gen. Joseph Warren ; and which is the same sword which I 
delivered to the Hon. William Davis and William Jackson, Esq. at 
Plymouth on the loth August last, at the moment of my departure 
for this place. — During the period of forty-seven years that this sword 
has been in my possession, and proclaimed as being the sword of the 
late Gen. Joseph Warren, it has never been denied as such, and no 
claims have been made to any other sword as appertaining to him. — 
When I purchased the sword it was in good order ; but during my long 
absence at sea, it has lost many of its ornaments. 

Done at Belfast, in the State of Maine this fourteenth of Septem- 
ber, Anno Domini one thousand eight hundred and twenty-two. 

(Signed) Cornelius Dunham. 

State of Maine, Hancock, ss. Belfast, Sept. 14, 1822. Then the 
above named Cornelius Dunham made solemn oath that the facts re- 
lated by him in the foregoing declaration, by him subscribed, are true 
according to his best knowledge and belief. 

Before me, (Signed) William White, Justice of Peace. 


Mr. R. Frothingham presented to the Society the fol- 
lowing copies of original papers now in the possession 
of J. Rhea Barton, M.D., of Philadelphia, relating to 
the origin of the Seal of the United States : — 

Remarks on the Device of the Seal of the United States. 

The escutcheon is composed of the chief and pale, the two most 
honorable ordinaries. The thirteen pieces paly represent the several 
States in the Union, all joined in one solid compact, entire, supporting 
a chief which unites the whole and represents Congress. The motto 
alludes to this union. 

The pales in the arms are kept closely united by the chief, and de- 
pend on that union and the strength resulting from it for support, to 
denote the confederacy of the United States and the preservation of 
their union through Congress. 

The colors of the pales are those used in the nag of the United 
States of America. White signifies purity and innocence ; Red hardi- 
ness and valour, and Blue, the colour of the chief, signifies vigilance, 
perseverance and justice. The olive branch and arrows denote the 
power of peace and war which is exclusively vested in Congress. 

The crest or constellation denotes a new State taking its place 
and rank among other sovereign powers. 

The escutcheon is borne on the breast of an American eagle, with- 
out any other supporter, to denote that the United States of America 
ought to rely on their own virtue. 

The pyramid on the reverse signifies strength and duration. The 
eye over it, and the motto " Annuit coeptis" — It prospers our endeav- 
ours — alludes to the many signal interpositions of Providence in favour 
of the American cause. 

The date underneath is that of the Declaration of Independence, 
and the words under it signify the beginning of the new American Era, 
which commences from the date. 

The Device for an Armorial Achievement and Reverse of a Great 
Seal for the United States in Congress assembled, is as follows : — 

Arms. — Paleway of thirteen pieces Argent and Gules. A chief 
Azure ; The Escutcheon on the breast of the American bald Eagle dis- 
played proper, holding in his dexter Talon an olive branch and in his 
sinister a bundle of thirteen arrows, all proper, and in his beak a scroll 
inscribed with this motto " E pluribus unum." 


For the crest. — Over the head of the Eagle, which appears above the 
Escutcheon, a glory, or, breaking through a cloud, proper, and surround- 
ing thirteen stars forming a constellation, argent, on an azure field. 

Reverse. — A Pyramid unfinished. 

In the Zenith an eye in a triangle surrounded with a Glory, 
proper. Over the eye these words "Annuit coeptis." On the base 
of the Pyramid the numerical letters M.D.C.C.L.X.X.VL and under- 
neath the following motto — " Novus ordo sasclorum." 

Sir, — I am much obliged for the perusal of the elements of 
Heraldry which I now return. I have just dipt into it so far as to be 
satisfied that it may afford a fund of entertainment and may be applied 
by a State to useful purposes. I am much obliged for your very valuable 
present of Fortescue " De Laudibus Legum Anglise," and shall be happy 
to have it in my power to make a suitable return. 

I enclose a copy of the Device by which you have displayed your 
skill in heraldic science, and which meets with general approbation. 
I am, sir, your obedient humble servant, 

(Signed) Chas. Thomson. 

June 24, 1782. 

In June 1782, when Congress were about to form an armorial 
device for a great seal for the United States, Charles Thomson, Esq. 
then Secretary, with the Hon. Dr. Arthur Lee and Elias Boudinot, 
members of Congress, called on me and consulted me on the occasion. 
The Great Seal, for which I furnished those gentlemen with devices, 
(as certified by Chas. Thomson, Esq.) was adopted by Congress on the 
20th of June 1782. Mr. Thomson informed me, four days after, that 
they met with general approbation. 

(Signed) W. Barton. 

1866.] OCTOBER MEETING. 353 


A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day, October 11th, at eleven o'clock, a.m.; the 
President, the Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, in the chair. 

The Librarian announced donations from the Com- 
monwealth of Massachusetts ; the City of Boston ; the 
Chicago Historical Society ; the Connecticut Academy 
of Arts and Sciences ; the Impartial-Suffrage League ; 
the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec ; the Mer- 
cantile Library Association of Boston ; the New-Eng- 
land Loyal -Publication Society ; the State Historical 
Society of Iowa ; the Publisher of the " Savannah Daily 
Republican " ; John Appleton, M.D. ; Henry G. Denny, 
Esq. ; Ira Divoll, Esq. ; Rev. S. Hopkins Emery ; Hon. 
Samuel Hooper ; Frederic Kidder, Esq. ; Rev. Howard 
Malcom, D.D. ; Mr. George Derby Welles ; Mrs. Jo- 
seph E. Worcester ; and from Messrs. Green, Lawrence, 
Lothrop, C. Robbins, Sabine, Wheatland, and Winthrop, 
of the Society. 

The President read the following letter from the 
Hon. B. B. French, Commissioner of Public Buildings 
in Washington, proposing to present to the Society an 
iron table, made, by his order, from pieces of the dome 
of the Capitol : — 

Office of the Commissioner of Public Buildings, Capitol of the 
United States, Washington City, Aug. 26, 1866. 
Hon. Robert C. Winthrop. 

My dear Sir, — I have an iron table, which I had made of 
three pieces of the dome of the Capitol: the feet, or stand, being 
one of the ornaments of the inner dome, inverted ; the pillar being one 



of the balusters of the iron railing around the opening beneath the 
eye of the dome ; and the leaf, a square piece cut from one of the thin 
iron panels. It is quite a handsome, and a very solid, affair. It has 
stood in my library every winter, and in my garden every summer, 
since it was made. It is unique, and there probably will never be 
another like it in the world. It stood on the platform in front of the 
Capitol when President Lincoln was last inaugurated ; and, as soon 
as it was brought back to my house, I wrote upon a piece of paper the 
following, and stuck it, with mucilage, underneath the leaf, viz. : — 

Saturday, March 4, 1865, one o'clock, p.m. 
This table, formed of three pieces of iron cast fqr the new dome of the 
Capitol, stood upon the'platform erected for the inaugural ceremonies of this day. 
It was in front of President Lincoln when he delivered his inaugural address, 
and a tumbler of water intended for his use stood upon it. He took the oath of 
office standing at its side. 

B. B. French, Commissioner of Public Buildings. 

This table I told President Lincoln I would give to him to take to 
Illinois as a memento of the Capitol, when he should retire from the 
Presidency. Alas ! the hand of the assassin deprived me of that 

Then I promised Senator Foot, whose efforts for the completion of 
the Capitol were far beyond those of any other man, that I would make 
him a present of the table, to take with him to Vermont, when he 
retired from the Senate. He has been gathered to his fathers ; and I 
mourn deeply and sincerely his loss, for he was my dear and cherished 

The table still stands in my garden, to me a sad memento. 

To-day, as I was sitting in the garden, I observed that the weather 
had detached the paper pasted beneath the leaf, so much that it hung 
down in sight. I detached entirely as much as I could get of it, and 
the fragment is before me. 

Mrs. French sat at my side, and I said to her, " I think it my duty to 
deposit that table in some place where it will be appreciated and pre- 
served. It has become too sacred a relic to be lost. I will offer it as a 
present to the Massachusetts Historical Society." Acting upon that sug- 
gestion of my mind, I now have the honor, through you, my old and 
respected and dear friend, to offer that table to the honored Society 
above mentioned. If it be accepted, I will have the table well boxed, 
and send it, directed as you may wish, to the Society at Bostop. 

If you can find a photograph of Mr. Lincoln's second inauguration, 


you will see that table very prominent in the foreground of the 

I shall preserve the fragment of the written inscription, and replace 
it with some adhesive gum or paste beneath the leaf, before I send the 

I am, dear Sir, with high respect, your sincere friend and obedient 

B. B. French, Commissioner of Public Buildings. 

This donation having been gratefully accepted by the 
President, Mr. French announced in a letter dated Sep- 
tember 4th, also read by the President, that the table 
had been boxed up and forwarded to Boston, where 
it had safely arrived before this meeting. 

The President was directed to return the acknowledg- 
ments of the Society for this donation. 

The President announced the death of the Rev. Fran- 
cis L. Hawks, D.D., a Corresponding Member, in the 
following words : — 

Rev. Francis L. Hawks, D.D., died in New York on the 
27th of September. He was one of the most accomplished 
and eloquent preachers of the Church to which he belonged, 
of which he had more than once refused a bishopric. Born 
in Newbern, North Carolina, and graduated at the Univer- 
sity of that State, he first adopted the profession of the law, 
was admitted to the bar, and became a member of the North- 
Carolina Legislature. But he soon lost all taste for politics 
and legal practice, studied for the ministry, and was ordained 
in 1827. He was the rector of leading parishes, succes- 
sively, in New Haven, Philadelphia, New Orleans, and New 
York ; and his last clerical service was at the laying of the 
corner-stone of a new chapel which was to be built for him 
in the latter city. Dr. Hawks was not less distinguished 
as a literary man than as a clergyman. He was one of the 


ablest and most brilliant contributors to the u New- York 
Review," as long as it lasted. He published a History of 
North Carolina, a work on Egypt and its Monuments, two vol- 
umes of contributions to the Ecclesiastical History of the 
United States, and a considerable Introduction to the account 
of Perry's Expedition to Japan, together with some smaller 
works. He died at the age of sixty-eight, having been born 
on the 10th of June, 1798. 

Mr. Ellis Ames exhibited the original letter of John 
Adams, dated Quincy, January 5th, 1818, addressed to 
William Wirt, and printed in the Appendix to the edi- 
tion of "Novanglus and Massachusettensis," of 1819, pp. 
238-240. It was found in Ealeigh, N.C., in a grove, 
by a United-States soldier, Mr. Sevey, who lent it to Mr. 
Ames, by whom a copy was made and presented to the 

Mr. Waterston exhibited original profiles of Gen- 
eral Washington and of Mrs. Washington, taken from 
their shadow upon the wall. He also exhibited beauti- 
fully executed copies of these profiles, made by-himself, 
which he presented to the Society. The copy of the 
profile of Washington bears the following inscription : 
" The Profile of General Washington taken from his 
shadow upon the wall, declared by those who knew 
him to be as perfect a likeness as a profile can. give. 
The original profile from which this was taken was in 
the possession of Mrs. Eleanor Custis Lewis, the grand- 
daughter of Mrs. Washington, and was presented by 
her to Mrs. Elizabeth Bordley Gibson, of Philadelphia. 
The above exact copy was made by 11. C. Waterston, 
and was given by him to the Massachusetts Historical 


Society, March, 1866." The copy of the profile of 
Mrs. Washington bears a similar attestation. 

Mr. Waterston also exhibited and read several origi- 
nal letters of Washington ; whereupon, on the motion of 
Dr. Robbins, the acknowledgments of the Society were 
expressed to Mr. Waterston for his exact and beautiful 
and valuable copies of the profiles of General and Mrs. 

The President presented, from Mr. Charles H. Hart, 
of Philadelphia, a broadside containing a list of Theses 
of Harvard College for the Commencement in 1759. 


A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day, Thursday, November 8th, at eleven o'clock, 
a.m. ; the President, the Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, in 
the chair. 

The Librarian announced donations from the State 
of Ohio ; the American Numismatic and Arch geological 
Society ; the Chicago Historical Society ; the New-Eng- 
land Historic-Genealogical Society ; the New-England 
Loyal Publication Society ; the Proprietors of the " Her- 
aldic Journal" ; the Proprietors of the "Savannah Daily 
Republican " ; John Appleton, M.D. ; Rear - Admiral 
Charles H. Davis ; General J. Watts De Peyster ; Rev. 
Thomas Hill, D.D. ; Edward Jarvis, M.D. ; Benjamin 
P. Johnson, Esq. ; Hon. William D. Kelly ; Mr. Wil- 


liam B. Trask; Mrs. Joseph E. Worcester; Stephen J. 
Young, A.M. ; and from Messrs. W. G. Brooks, H. 
Gray, jun., Green, Latham, C. Bobbins, Sibley, Wheat- 
land, and Winthrop, of the Society. 

The President communicated, as a gift from our Hon- 
orary member, Major-General John A. Dix, a copy of 
his English version of the old Latin hymn, "Dies Irse"; 
for which a due acknowledgment was directed to be 

Mr. Folsom stated, that this grim and terrific off- 
spring of the piety of the Middle Ages had been shorn, 
in later times, of its first four stanzas, as appears from 
one of the earliest copies of it inscribed on a marble 
tablet in the Church of St. Francis, at Mantua. This in- 
scription had been printed in that rare and curious book, 
" Variorum in Europa Itinerum Deliciae," by Nathan 
Chytraeus, 1594; and it appears reprinted at full length 
in this Society's copy of the same Chytrseus's ascetic book, 
in " Viaticum Itineris Extremi," which was formerly in 
the Library of the famous Eev. Nehemiah Walter, of 
Roxbury. If his contemporary, the Rev. Michael Wig- 
glesworth, of Maiden, had read this scenic representation 
of the " Day of Doom," he cannot be said to have reached 
its awful sublimity, which stamps it as a work of genius. 

The President read a letter from General John Mere- 
dith Read, jun., asking the Society's acceptance of a 
copy of his recently published work on Henry Hudson, 
which he had transmitted to the Society ; and a proper 
acknowledgment was voted for this acceptable gift. 

The President read a letter from Colonel C. E. Potter, 
of Hillsborough, N.H., asking leave to copy, from the 


MSS. in the Library, " the rolls of the New-Hampshire 
troops in the expedition against Louisburgh, in 1745," 
to be published in a volume now in the press : where- 
upon it was Ordered, That Colonel Potter's request be 

The President referred to the recent death of our Cor- 
responding Member, Theodore D wight, Esq., who was 
accidentally killed at the railway station at Jersey City, 
October 16th, 1866. 

Mr. D wight was elected a member on the 27th of 
March, 1834, having just then returned from Europe, 
and was regarded as a young man of much promise. 
His father, the Hon. Theodore Dwight, was elected a 
Corresponding Member on the same day. 

The President laid before the Society the Letter and 
Trust Instrument of our Honorary Member, George 
Peabody, Esq. (as published in the " Boston Daily Ad- 
vertiser," October 19th, 1866), establishing a Museum 
and Professorship of American Archaeology and Ethnol- 
ogy in connection with Harvard University, and naming 
the President of this Society, ex officio, for ever one of 
the Trustees. 

Whereupon the following resolution was submitted: — 

Resolved, That Mr. Peabody's Letter and Instrument of Trust be 
entered in full on the records of this Society ; and that the President 
be instructed to communicate to Mr. Peabody the deep and grateful 
sense which is entertained by us all of the interest and importance of 
the Institution which he has thus founded, and of the munificence and 
wisdom with which he has provided for its management and support. 

Dr. Walker then addressed the meeting as fol- 
lows : — 


I feel sure, Mr. President, that this Resolution will be 
unanimously adopted by the Society. It seems to me, as 
I suppose it does to all, that Mr. Peabody has bestowed on 
our University a noble endowment for a noble purpose, — 
an endowment, moreover, which it was eminently fit for 
him to confer, and for the oldest seat of learning in the 
land to receive. Down to a comparatively recent period, 
Harvard College has been obliged to exhaust her resources 
on the traditionary course of a liberal education ; but the 
time has come when she will be expected to do her part, 
not merely in diffusing, but also in advancing, human knowl- 
edge. There is now one important subject, the archaeol- 
ogy and anthropology of the American continent, on which, 
after the liberal provision that has just been made, it will 
be her own fault if she does not take the lead. Thus 
far, this subject, and the kindred inquiries, have been left, 
for the most part, in the hands of voluntary associations ; 
and the public is under great obligations to them for what 
they have done. Mr. Peabody, as it seems to me, has shown 
great wisdom by connecting his new institution, to some ex- 
tent, with two of the oldest of these societies; so that, here- 
after, we may have the benefit of both agencies, acting with 
more effect, because more likely to act in harmony and to- 
gether for a common object. 

Mr. President, I have no doubt that Mr. Peabody looks for 
his principal satisfaction to the good that will result from his 
munificent foundations : still, I should be sorry if he failed 
to have the additional satisfaction of knowing, that those to 
whom he has committed his trusts enter heartily and zeal- 
ously into his plans. 

The resolution was seconded by Dr. Bigelow, who 
also addressed the meeting. Remarks were also made 
by Mr. J. C. Gray and the Eev. Edward E. Hale. 
Mr. Hale spoke as follows : — 

1866.] REMARKS OF MR. HALE. 361 

I should not venture* to add any thing, Mr. President, to 
what has been so fitly said, but that you have asked me 
to say something in acknowledgment of so great a gift to 
science, because, in some sort, I represent here the Gov- 
ernment of the American Antiquarian Society. In the estab- 
lishment of the proposed museum, and of the professorship 
connected with it, under Mr. Peabody's munificent endow- 
ment, the Antiquarian Society saw the fulfilment of a cher- 
ished wish which it had entertained for half a century ; and 
its Government is confident, that, in the administration of 
this endowment, the studies of the American antiquary would 
be redeemed from any unfair suspicion which has considered 
them petty, or unworthy of profound scientific attention. 

Have we not been somewhat disposed to think, that these 
arrow-points and pestles and stone axe-heads, such as I have 
brought down stairs from our own collection, were hardly 
worth a place in our museum ? Or if any explorer south- 
ward or westward brought us his contributions of the work 
of our own native tribes, have we not been apt to think 
that they were mere curiosities, with little value for science ? 
Now, in the recent study of the antiquity of the human race, 
these very illustrations of what has been called the Stone 
Age are claiming a place of the very first importance in the 
study of the real primeval history of the world. 

And, Mr. President, so far as I am aware, Mr. Peabody, in 
his letter of gift, is the first person who has publicly called 
attention to the invaluable illustration which the antiquarian 
study of this country will thus give to this new science, 
which seeks to set in order the social progress of the world, 
— its moral palseontology, if I may hazard the expression, of 
which we here can illustrate some of the steps far better 
than they can be illustrated in Europe. The little specimens 
which I have placed on the table — some of them the work of 
nature ; and some, to appearance much less carefully wrought, 

the undoubted work of man — will show how difficult it is 



for an untrained observer to say with certainty, in a given 
instance, whether a relic from another age is or is not a 
memorial of human art. In point of fact, the tools from the 
alluvium of the Somme, figured by M. Boucher de Perthes 
in his " Antiquites Celtiques," were so rudely shaped, that 
many persons supposed they were stones which owed their 
peculiar forms to accidental fracture in a river's bed. In 
such ways the whole series of questions connected with the 
memorials of the Stone Age discovered in Europe, have been 
embarrassed, from the fact, that the scientific men of Europe, 
in studying that age, with them so distant, have been obliged 
to construct their theories simply from the handful of speci- 
mens preserved through so many intervening ages, — mate- 
rials which were themselves the material under discussion. 
We here, however, have the Stone Age at hand ; we can 
match these arrow-points and axe-heads from our own collec- 
tions of thousands of such articles, the work of a race not 
yet passed away. If we wish, we can question the men who 
have used them, — nay, can see them as they make them. And 
here is one more instance to be added to so many which are 
successively forced upon us, which show that our antiquarian 
studies are in fact not the baby talk of the infants of a new 
world, but are studies relating to the very oldest world, and 
indeed to the very foundation of social order. 

You remember, Mr. President, how often Mr. Agassiz 
dwells upon the fact, that when it pleased God to divide the 
land from the water, — when Ci fields grew green," where for 
thousands of years " oceans only had gathered," — the first 
beach which rose above the icy waves was the strip of land 
which Mr. Agassiz calls " the Laurentian Hills." It is the 
strip which we have all heard described so many times — 
and in the language of geology also — as " the highlands 
dividing the waters of the St. Lawrence from the waters of 
the Atlantic." That was the phrase used by Adams and 
Franklin in our first treaty with England, and the commis- 

1866.] REMARKS OF MR. HALE. 363 

sioners chose that oldest ridge of land to be the eternal 
division between the two countries which were just then 
parted. All of us have noticed the curious revelation of re- 
cent science, which has pointed out the fact, that this region,* 
made so familiar to us in the struggles of diplomacy, should 
prove to be really a landmark so ancient. Now, with every 
fresh revelation of science, Sir, we are seeing more distinctly 
that the studies of this older continent are in every way 
essential to the studies of our younger sister continent on 
the other side of the ocean. 

It seems to me a very striking illustration of the compre- 
hensive views of Mr. Peabody, that, while he was engaged in 
that work for the world to which a great merchant is called, 
he should have perceived the intimacy of the connection 
between the antiquarian study of this country, and what I 
have a right to call the newly created antiquarian science of 
Europe. These views of the antiquity of man, in which Pro- 
fessor Lyell has excited such wide popular interest, are but 
just now announced to the European world. Mr. Peabody has 
instantly seized on the fact, that, in this older world, we have 
peculiar advantages for illustrating them. Deeply interested 
himself in the new studies by which the geologists of Europe 
are illustrating the antiquity of the race, he has seen that 
we have here peculiar opportunity for contributing to those 
studies facts of great interest, and observations impossible, 
excepting where the forms of the oldest social order may be 
studied while still alive. Observing this, with the most 
liberal endowment he creates the new institution which is to 
preserve the memorials, and give persistency to the studies, 
which are necessary in the illustration. 

.1 hold in my hand, and should gladly read here if I had 
not occupied so much of the Society's time, a letter from 
Mr. Abbott Lawrence, written when he was our minister in 
England, acknowledging, in the most cordial way, the impor- 
tant services which Mr. Peabody again and again rendered, 


in preserving a kindly feeling between America and England. 
He seems to have consecrated the immense influence which 
he has so worthily acquired, to those friendly offices which 
best unite two lands that should be parted only by the 
ocean. The last great service we acknowledge to-day, in 
which Mr. Peabody shows us how the antiquarian science 
of each continent may contribute to that of the other, — 
how essential, indeed, for the deepest research of each conti- 
nent is the kindred research which at the same moment 
presses its inquiries in the other, — this last great service 
fitly illustrates that work of mediation and good feeling to 
which this distinguished man has so successfully devoted the 
efforts of his life. 

I say no more, Mr. President, because I am speaking in 
the presence of the President of the Antiquarian Society, 
who is himself joined with you in the administration of this 
endowment. If you and I had known that he would be here 
to-day, you would hardly have asked me to address the 
Society. As he is present, I will not say more in a matter 
which is so peculiarly his own. 

The Eesolution was unanimously adopted. 
Mr. Peabody's letter and instrument of gift are as 
follows : — * 

Georgetown, Oct. 8, 1866. 
To the Hon. Robert G. Winthrop, His Excellency Charles Francis 
Adams, Francis Peabody, Stephen Salisbury, Asa Gray, Jeffries 
Wyman, and George Peabody Russell, Esquires. 

Gentlemen, — Accompanying this letter, I enclose an instrument 
giving to you one hundred* and fifty thousand dollars ($150,000) in 
trust for the foundation and maintenance of a Museum and Professor- 
ship of American Archaeology and Ethnology, in connection with Har- 
vard University. 

I have for some years had the purpose of contributing, as I might 
find opportunity, to extend the usefulness of the honored and ancient 
University of our Commonwealth ; and I trust, that, in view of the 


importance and national character of the proposed department, and its 
interesting relations to kindred investigations in other countries, the 
means I have chosen may prove acceptable. 

On learning of your acceptance of the trust, and of the assent of 
the President and Fellows of Harvard College to its terms, I shall 
be prepared to pay over to you the sum I have named. 

Aside from the provisions of the instrument of gift, I leave in your 
hands the details and management of the trust ; only suggesting, that, 
in view of the gradual obliteration or destruction of the works and 
remains of the ancient races of this continent, the labor of exploration 
and collection be commenced at as early a day as practicable ; and also, 
that, in the event of the discovery in America of human remains or 
implements of an earlier geological period than the present, especial 
attention be given to their study and their comparison with those found 
in other countries. 

With the hope that the museum, as thus established and main- 
tained, may be instrumental in promoting and extending its department 
of science, and with fullest confidence that under your care the best 
means will be adopted to secure the end desired, 

I am, with great respect, your humble servant, 

George Peabody. 

I do hereby give to Robert C. Winthrop, of Boston ; Charles Fran- 
cis Adams, of Quincy ; Francis Peabody, of Salem ; Stephen Salisbury, 
of Worcester; Asa Gray, of Cambridge; Jeffries Wyman, of Cam- 
bridge ; and George Peabody Russell, of Salem, — all of Massachusetts, 
— the sum of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, to be by them 
and their successors held in trust to found and maintain a Museum of 
American Archaeology and Ethnology, in connection with Harvard Uni- 
versity, in the city of Cambridge and Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

Of this sum I direct that my said trustees shall invest forty-five 
thousand dollars as a fund, the income of which shall be applied to 
forming and preserving collections of antiquities, and objects relating 
to the early races of the American continent, or such (including such 
books and works as may form a good working library for the depart- 
ments of science indicated) as shall be requisite for the investigation 
and illustration of Archaeology and Ethnology in general, in main and 
special reference, however, to the aboriginal American races. 

I direct that the income of the further sum of forty-five thousand 
dollars shall be applied by my said trustees to the establishment and 


maintenance of a Professorship of American Archaeology and Ethnol- 
ogy in Harvard University. The professor shall be appointed by the 
President and Fellows of Harvard College, with the concurrence of 
the Overseers, in the same manner as other professors are appointed, 
but upon the nomination of the founder or the Board of Trustees. He 
shall have charge of the above-mentioned collections, and shall deliver 
one or more courses of lectures annually, under the direction of the 
Government of the University, on subjects connected with said depart- 
ments of science. 

Until this professorship is filled, or during the time it may be vacant, 
the income from the fund appropriated to it shall be devoted to the 
care and increase of the collections. 

I further direct, that the remaining sum of sixty thousand dollars 
be invested and accumulated as a Building Fund, until it shall amount 
to at least one hundred thousand dollars, when it may be employed 
in the erection of a suitable fire-proof museum building, upon land to 
be given for that purpose, free of cost or rental, by the President 
and Fellows of Harvard College; the building, when completed, to 
become the property of the College, for the uses of this trust, and 
none other. 

The Board of Trustees I have thus constituted, shall always be 
composed of seven persons ; and it is my wish, that the office of chair- 
man be filled by Mr. Winthrop ; in the event of his death or resigna- 
tion, by Mr. Adams : and so successively in the order I have named 
above. The trustees shall keep a record of their doings, and shall 
annually prepare a report setting forth the condition of the trust and 
funds, and the amount of income received and paid out by them during 
the previous year. This report, signed by the trustees, shall be pre- 
sented to the President and Fellows of the College. 

In the event of the death or resignation of Mr. Winthrop, I direct 
that the vacancy in the number of the Board be filled by the President 
of the Massachusetts Historical Society, who, ex officio, shall for ever 
after be a member of the Board. In the event of the death or resig- 
nation of Mr. Peabody, the vacancy to be filled by the President of the 
scientific body now established in the city of Salem, under the name 
of the Essex Institute; of Mr. Salisbury, by the President of the 
American Antiquarian Society ; of Professor Gray, by the President 
of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences ; and of Professor 
Wyman, by the President of the Boston Society of Natural History, — 
all of whom shall for ever after be, ex officio, members of the Board. 


Should the President of either of the societies I have named decline 
to act as a trustee, such vacancy, and all other vacancies that may 
occur in the number of the trustees, shall be filled by the remaining 
trustees, who shall, within a reasonable time, make the appointment or 

I give to my said trustees the liberty to obtain from the Legislature 
an Act of Incorporation, if they deem it desirable ; to make all neces- 
sary by-laws ; to appoint a treasurer ; and to enter into any arrange- 
ments and agreements with the Government of Harvard College, not 
inconsistent with the terms of this trust, which may, in their opinion, 
be expedient. 

(Signed) George Peabody. 
Georgetown, Oct. 8, 1866. 

The following Resolution, offered by Mr. Deane, was 
unanimously adopted : — 

Resolved, That the thanks of the Society be presented to the 
Treasurer, Mr. Frothingham, for his faithful discharge of the duties 
of Recording Secretary during the recent temporary absence of that 

Mr. Waterston, after some remarks relative to St. 
Botolph's Church, in Boston, England, which he visited 
some years since, presented to the Society a beautiful 
photograph of that church, with the surrounding build- 
ings. On the back of the picture, which is appropriately 
framed, is a drawing of the house regarded as that in 
which John Cotton, the vicar, lived ; also a copy of the 
Seal of St. Botolph's Priory at Colchester, said to be 
" the only mediaeval figure of St. Botolph in existence," 
— both executed by Mr. Waterston, with his pen.* 

The thanks of the Society were expressed to Mr. 
Waterston for the gift. 

* See Thompson's " History and Antiquities of Boston," (England,) pp. 214, 372. 



A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day, Thursday, December 13th, at eleven o'clock, 
a.m. ; the President in the chair. 

The Librarian announced donations from the Com- 
monwealth of Massachusetts ; the City of Boston ; the 
American Numismatic and Archaeological Society; the 
American Tract Society, New York ; the Chicago His- 
torical Society ; the Lawrence Academy, Groton ; the 
New-Hampshire Historical Society ; the Suffolk Insti- 
tute of Archaeology and Natural History ; the Trustees 
of the Public Library of the City of Boston ; the Editors 
of " The Advocate " ; the Proprietors of the " Savannah 
Daily Republican " ; John Appleton, M.D. ; Mr. John 
Clark ; Henry B. Dawson, Esq. ; Franklin B. Dexter, 
Esq. ; Ira Divoll, Esq. ; Henry W. Haynes, Esq. ; Rev. 
Richard M. Hodges ; Benjamin P. Johnson, Esq. ; 
Rev. Isaac P. Langworthy ; Orsamus H. Marshall, Esq. ; 
Joel Munsell, Esq. ; Captain George H. Preble, U.S.N. ; 
Hon. Alexander H. Rice ; Mr, L. W. Schmidt ; and 
from Messrs. Deane, Green, Hillard, Latham, C. Rob- 
bins, Sibley, Wheatland, and Winthrop, of the Society. 

The President called attention to a copy of a privately 
printed " Memoir of General Thomas Greely Steven- 
son," who was killed at Spottsylvania on the 10th of 
May, 1864, presented by his father, J. Thomas Steven- 
son, Esq., for which a suitable acknowledgment was 
directed to be made. 

1866.] DEATH OF THE REV. DR. JENKS. 369 

The President referred to the death of our associate, 
the venerable William Jenks, D.D., in the following 
language : — 

A few days only after our last monthly meeting, we were 
called to attend the funeral of our late venerable associate, the 
Eev. William Jenks, D.D., who died in this city, on the thir- 
teenth day of November, in the eighty-eighth year of his age. 
It is fit that we should devote a little time this morning, before 
proceeding to other business, to some notice of one who stood 
second in seniority upon our roll, who was the oldest in years 
of our whole number, and whose presence at these meetings 
we have so often and so recently welcomed. 

Dr. Jenks was a native of Massachusetts, having been 
born in the neighboring town of Newton, on the 25th of 
November, 1778. He was a pupil of our Boston Public Latin 
School, and a graduate of Harvard University in the Class of 
1797. Devoting himself to theological studies, after a few 
years of service as a teacher of youth and as a reader in the 
Episcopal Church at Cambridge, he was settled as pastor of a 
Congregational Church at Bath, in the then District of Maine. 
In 1818 he returned to Boston; and, after spending a few 
years more in the work of the education of youth, and in 
missionary lajbors among the seamen and among the poor, he 
became pastor of a church in Green Street, in this city, where 
he continued to officiate for not less than a quarter of a cen- 

Of his services as a minister of the Gospel, it belongs more 
appropriately to others, here and elsewhere, to bear testi- 
mony. Nor would it become me to pronounce a judgment on 
the great work which he undertook and executed in imme- 
diate connection with his theological pursuits. It is enough 
for me to name his comprehensive ' ( Commentary on the Bible/' 
published in six imperial 8vo volumes, between 1834 and 

1838, of which not less than twenty thousand copies were 



subscribed for, of which new editions have repeatedly been 
called for, and of which Dr. Allibone, in his excellent " Dic- 
tionary of Authors," has recently said, that " it still stands 
without a rival for the purpose for which it is intended." 

I may be permitted, however, to speak more in detail of 
him, in his relations to this and other kindred societies, and 
to the literary and historical pursuits in which we are en- 

Dr. Jenks was elected a member of this Society on the 
same day with the illustrious Daniel Webster, the 27th of 
August, 1821. He was our Librarian for nine years, — from 
1823 to 1832 ; and was a member of the Committee of Pub- 
lication for two of our volumes of Collections, — one of them 
published in 1825, and the other in 1852. Among his contri- 
butions to these and others of our volumes, I may mention, — 
A detailed account of our Society, its origin and progress, its 
members, its proceedings and publications, during the first 
half-century of its existence ; a Memoir of the Eev. Dr. 
Holmes, the author of the " American Annals ; " Memoirs of 
the Rev. Dr. John Codman and the Rev. Dr. Charles Lowell ; 
and a Notice of the Sieur D'Aulnay, of Acadie, translated 
from the French. Nor certainly can I forget his excellent 
Memoir of one of our former Presidents, the late Lieutenant- 
governor Winthrop. 

Dr. Jenks had rendered many and peculiar services, also, to 
the American Antiquarian Society, of which he was the senior 
Yice-President at his death. He not only delivered their first 
Anniversary Address, in 1813, but was privileged again to de- 
liver an address before them on the occasion of their Semi- 
centennial Celebration, at Worcester, only three years since, 
when more than one of those here present enjoyed with me the 
rich gratification of listening to a learned and vigorous dis- 
course on American Archseology, from one whose age covered 
more than one-third of the whole time which had elapsed since 
the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers at Plymouth. 

1866.] DEATH OF THE REV. DR. JENKS. 371 

During his pastorate at Bath, Dr. Jenks was connected 
with the government of Bowdoin College (then recently 
established at Brunswick, in Maine), first as Secretary of the 
Board of Trustees, and afterwards as Professor of Oriental 
and English Literature. In this connection, he was called on 
to pronounce a eulogy on the Hon. James Bowdoin, the munifi- 
cent benefactor of that institution. This eulogy, delivered 
on the 2d of September, 1812, and soon afterwards published 
in an elegant quarto pamphlet, exhibited great familiarity 
both with the history of the Huguenot race, from which the 
Bowdoins were descended, and of the great events of our own 
State and nation, with which the elder and the younger Bow- 
doin had been more or less prominently associated. 

I may not attempt, on this occasion, to give a complete 
account of all Dr. Jenks's literary and historical labors. 
From his first contribution of a succinct history of the Swiss 
Republic to the " Literary Miscellany/' at Cambridge, in 1804, 
his pen seems never to have been idle. Not merely in his 
weekly sermons, — not merely in his numerous occasional ad- 
dresses, reports, and pamphlets, but in the columns of the 
public journals also, — generally in prose, but sometimes in 
verse, — he gave frequent utterance to his thoughts and emo- 
tions on passing events, whether of religious or of secular 
interest. Observing, in one of our daily papers, an elaborate 
ode, with its strophes and anti-strophes, on the visit of the 
Prince of Wales to Boston in 1860, I inquired of the editor 
whose it was ; and he told me it came from the octogenarian, 
Dr. Jenks. An equally elaborate ode to Garibaldi, the patriot 
of Italy, had preceded it from the same pen in 1859. 

Among the anonymous publications of Dr. Jenks, there is 
one, however, of still more curious interest. It was published 
in 1808, and entitled "Memoir of the Northern Kingdom, 
written a.d. 1872, by the late Rev. Williamson Jahnsenykes, 
LL.D., and Honorary Member of the Royal American Board 
of Literature, in Six Letters to his Son. Now first published. 


Quebeck, a.d. 1901." It was a political jeu d'esprit, of no com- 
mon felicity, written during the party heats which attended 
the close of Mr. Jefferson's Presidency, and was designed to 
portray the danger of a dissolution of the Union, and the 
overturn of our republican institutions. Meeting our venera- 
ble friend in the street, on New-year's Day, 1863, — after 
exchanging the salutations of the season, — I told him I had 
found a copy of a pamphlet bearing this title, among my 
father's books ; and I ventured to ask him, through that pon- 
derous ear-trumpet, — which was the badge of the only in- 
firmity he had, — whether he was the author of it. He 
replied, without an instant's hesitation, that he was. 

I forbear, Gentlemen, to detain you longer by dwelling on 
that Christian kindness and courtesy which eminently marked 
the whole demeanor of our departed friend, endearing him so 
much to all who knew him intimately, and securing for him the 
respect and regard of our whole community. Upon these and 
other traits of his character, there are those present whose 
testimony will be more appropriate than my own ; and I has- 
ten, therefore, to submit, for your adoption, with the assent of 
our Standing Committee, the following resolution: — 

Besolved, That, in the death of the Rev. William Jenks, D.D., 
this Society has lost one of its most respected and accomplished mem- 
bers ; and that the President be instructed to nominate one of our 
number to prepare a memoir of him for the next volume of the So- 
ciety's Proceedings. 

Dr. Robbins then spoke as follows : — 

By your permission, Mr. President, I move the acceptance 
of the resolution offered by the Standing Committee, in honor 
of our late venerable associate ; not because I can add any 
thing to what you have so justly and feelingly said concern- 
ing his character and accomplishments, but to gratify the 
feelings of respect and attachment, which, in common with 
all who knew him, I cherish for his memory. 

1866.] DEATH OF THE REV. DR. JENKS. 373 

My recollection of him reaches back to the period of my 
boyhood, nearly fifty years ago. He then appeared to me 
quite old, and impressed me with reverence as a saintly man. 
This impression did not fade, as is too often the case, with 
advancing years and more intimate acquaintance ; but, on the 
contrary, has been confirmed and deepened by maturer obser- 
vation and intercourse. 

The epithet which our blessed Lord applied to Nathanael 
seems to me singularly appropriate to him: " Behold an Isra- 
elite indeed, in whom is no guile ! " 

The extent and variety of his knowledge, his contributions 
to Biblical and antiquarian literature, and his numerous and 
valuable services as a preacher, an instructor, a citizen, and a 
member of several learned societies, worthy as they are of 
honorable recognition, do not, I think, constitute his highest 
title to respect. This is secured rather by those admirable 
moral and Christian characteristics which adorned and distin- 
guished his life. 

There was an air of sanctity about him, such as we asso- 
ciate with the best of our Puritan ancestors, or with the 
holier prophets of more ancient times. He walked and sat 
amongst us as a- type and relic of a truly noble order of men, 
— the liberally educated Congregational clergymen and Chris- 
tian gentlemen of the last century. 

Though of diminutive stature, there was a dignity in his 
carriage and a courtliness in his manners, which, in connec- 
tion with the expansion of his brow, gave a certain stateliness 
to his person. The preciseness and slight formality, which 
no one could fail to notice, were relieved and softened by the 
kindliness of his disposition, and the habitual civility and 
urbanity of his address. 

He is a man who will be missed, not only in his family, in 
his church, and in these halls, where his presence has been 
so long and so frequently welcomed, but in the streets of our 
city. Even if his works and virtues were less availing to 


save his name from oblivion, his venerable image itself has 
left a stamp upon the memory of his fellow-citizens which 
cannot be effaced. 

The Resolution was unanimously adopted ; and Dr. 
Blagden was appointed to prepare a memoir of Dr. 
Jenks; for the Society's volume of Proceedings. 

A letter was read from Dr. S. S. Purple, of New 
York, asking for a copy of a paper contained in a 
volume of the " Heath Papers" (vol. i. p. 29, No. 30), 
being Minutes of a" Court of Inquiry on the causes of 
a complaint against the Director-General of the Hos- 
pital, September 19th, 1775." 

The application of Dr. Purple was granted under the 
rules, and was referred to the Recording Secretary. 

Mr. Henry G. Denny, of Dorchester, was elected a 
Resident Member. General John Meredith Read, jun., 
of Albany, N.Y., and Joseph Jackson Howard, Esq., 
of Blackheath, Kent County, England, were elected 
Corresponding Members. 

Mr. Waterston exhibited a finely executed bronze 
medal, being a copy of a gold medal presented to 
Major-General George G. Meade, by the Union League 
of Philadelphia, July 4, 1865, as a token of the grati- 
tude of his country. On the obverse of the medal is a 
medallion portrait of General Meade ; on the reverse, 
this inscription : " The Victor of Gettysburg, the Deliv- 
erer of the State, the faithful Soldier of our Country, 
July, 1863." 

Mr. DEANE.said he wished to call the attention of 
members to a volume then lying upon the table, which 


had not been announced by the President among the 
other donations to the Library that had been specially 
noticed at this meeting. He referred to the " Life and 
Letters of John Winthrop, from his embarkation for 
New England, in 1630, with the Charter and Company 
of the Massachusetts Bay, to his death in 1649. By 
Robert C. Winthrop." Mr. Deane said, that he would 
not, in the presence of the author, speak of this book in 
the terms he should otherwise be tempted to employ: 
he only hoped that others might derive the same 
pleasure from the perusal of it which he had done. 
It may be regarded as a companion volume to that 
published three years since, and entitled " Life and Let- 
ters of John Winthrop, Governor of the Massachusetts- 
Bay Company, at their Emigration to New England, 
1630," by the same author. 

The President read a letter from the Rev. John 
Waddington, D.D., pastor of the Church of the Pilgrim 
Fathers, in Southwark, dated "9, Surrey Square, Lon- 
don, October 9th, 1866," communicating a " Copy of a 
Record in the Public Records, entitled ' State Papers, 
Domestic. — Elizabeth.' Bundles for Incorporation. 
No. 1." The papers consisted of a protest against the 
corruptions of the English Church, signed by twenty- 
seven persons. Dr. Waddington says, "I found these 
documents several years ago, and printed some extracts 
from them in a volume of tracts entitled ' Historical Pa- 
pers. First Series, Congregational Martyrs. London : 
Paternoster Row, 1861.' On comparing the names of 
the members of the church of Richard Fitz [with this 
list of names] it will be found that they formed part of a 


number of Separatists, who worshipped in Plumber's 
Hall, Anchor Lane, London, (in Thames Street,) June 
19th, 1567, and who were committed to the Bridewell 
Prison, June 20, 1569."* 

Mr. Folsom read a communication to the Society, in 
the form of a letter addressed to himself, from our 
Corresponding Member, J. Hammond Trumbull, Esq., 
of Hartford, Conn. He remarked, that he considered 
himself as favored in being the medium of this com- 
munication, which he hoped was the precursor of other 
similar papers on detached topics relating to the aborigi- 
nal dialects of New England. This branch of our 
antiquities no one of the present generation has culti- 
vated so successfully as Mr. Trumbull ; sufficient evidence 
of which appears in his learned and acute annotation of 
Roger Williams's "Key into the Language of America," 
just published by the " Narragansett Club " in Provi- 
dence. The inhabitants of " Shawmut," in all its future 
extent, will be interested in this investigation of Mr. 
Trumbull. The Indian names of other important local- 
ities in New England await a like exhaustive treatment 
at his hands. 

Charles Folsom, Esq. 

My dear Sir, — At your suggestion, I venture to submit to you 
the results of my analysis of the name by which the peninsula of Bos- 
ton is said to have been known to the Indians thereabout. If you find 
herein any thing likely to interest, or deserving the consideration of, 
the Historical Society, and if you think they will pardon the infor- 
mality of the communication, I shall be doubly gratified. 

* It is understood that Dr. Waddington is now engaged on an important work 
relating to the history of Dissent in England, which will include the " Fitz Papers," of 
which he has here communicated a portion. We refrain, therefore, from publishing at 
present what he has so generously communicated to the Society. — Eds. 


Before discussing the signification of this name, it will be necessary 
to restore to its modern form (Shawmut) a lost initial. 

Wood, in the " Xomenclator " appended to his " New England's 
Prospect," gives Mishaum as the Indian name of Charles River, and 
obviously intended to give Mishaum and Mishaumut for " Charles 
towne" and "Boston," respectively, — though his printer dropped the 
English name of each town a line below the Indian equivalent. 

On the Indian title-page of a translation of the " Confession of 
Faith," made by Grindal Rawson and printed in 1699, Mushauwomuh 
stands, in the imprint, for " Boston " on the English title-page oppo- 
site. The name appears in the same form in the imprint of the trans- 
lation of Cotton Mather's " Epistle to the Christian Indians " ( Wus- 
sukwhonk en Christianeue, &c.-), printed at Boston in 1700, — a copy 
of which is, I believe, in the Historical Society's library. 

Assuming this to be the form which, in Eliot's notation, most 
exactly represents the original, we immediately discover the striking 
resemblance, if not the identity, of the names given to the two oppo- 
site peninsulas and to the river which separates them, — to the homes 
of Thomas Walford on one side of Mishaum River, and of William 
Blackstone on the other. Mishaum, Mishaumut, and Mushauwomuh 
differ only by their grammatical forms. 

And now for the etymology. Mushcon, or Mishcon (Eliot wrote 
the word both ways, the first vowel being obscure, or merely represent- 
ing a sheva) signifies a boat or canoe ; more exactly, a canoe made by 
hollowing out the trunk of a tree, as distinguished from the light and 
frail bark canoe. In Eliot's translation, mushcon is used for "boat"; 
as in John vi. 22, Acts xxvii. 30. Cotton, in his Vocabulary, writes 
musshoan (3 Mass. Hist. Coll., ii. 163). In composition, the final n 
would necessarily be discarded, for it belongs to the grammar, not to 
the root. Indeed, a comparison of the forms in which this word is 
fonnd, in vocabularies of the Algonkin dialects, shows that this final n 
is not constant. In the vocabularies appended to Mr. Gallatin's Report, 
we find for the Old Algonkin, shiman ; Long Island, mashuee, &c. ; 
in the modern Ojibwa, chemaun ; and, in a manuscript vocabulary 
made by President Stiles, meshwe is given as the Pequot (or Mohegan) 
and Umpshu as the Narragansett word for " canoe." 

The verb of simple motion — that which expressed merely the 
notion of going — was, in the third person singular of the indicative 
present, com, or, as Eliot sometimes wrote (with the pronominal 
prefix of the third person), wcom : in the plural, comwog, "they go." 



In combination with other words, denoting the direction, manner, or 
agency, of going, Eliot writes -ohham, and -horn, for the singular : as, 
pummohham, he goes by sea ; nohham, or nohhom, he goes by sailing, he 
sails, {en nohhamun, "to sail to," Acts xx. 16) ; sohham (z= soh-com) 
he goes forth, &c. For comwog, Eoger Williams writes, in the Narra- 
gansett dialect, homwoch, " they go." 

From mushcon, or meshwe, " boat," and comwog or homwoch, 
"they go," would be formed mushooahomwog, or something like it, 
— " they go by boat " or " by canoe." In Roger Williams's " Key," 
we find this phrase as one of familiar use in Narragansett : " Gomishoon- 
hommisf Did you come by boateV (p. 8). "Gomishoonhom? Go 
you by water?" (p. 109). "Mishoon homwock, They go, or come, 
by water," i.e. by canoe (p. 72). 

We are now near the mark. It is not far from mishoon homwock to 
Mushauwomuk ; but the grammar is not yet satisfactory. The Indians 
never employed a verb in the indicative plural as the name of a place. 
But a form very often used for that purpose was what may be termed a 
conditional-verbal, or gerundive, — having the termination of the third 
person singular of the conditional-present, passive, in -muh. This 
form was much employed where, in English, we should use the infini- 
tive, or an abstract noun. Examples may be seen in Eliot's transla- 
tion of Eccles. iii. 3-7 ; " a time to kill, — to build up, — to 
weep, — to dance ; " where the verbs, preceded by the particle adt 
{=. Latin ad), are nushehteaMim, ayiMUK, mauMUK, pumukoMVK, &c, 
signifying " when (where, or, if) there is killed," or, " when killing 
(building, weeping, &c.) is." So Mushauwomuk may be literally 
translated, "Where there is going by boat," or "where they go by 
boat " ; and the name was applicable to any place on a river, or arm of 
the sea, from which boats habitually crossed to the bank or shore 
opposite, — in a word, to any Ferry. How early the crossing-place of 
the Charles River and the peninsulas on either side received this name, 
we have no means of ascertaining. I have seen no earlier authority 
for Mishaum and Mishaumut than Wood's " Nomenclator," and, two 
years before Wood wrote, there was a ferry established between 
Charlestown and Boston, and " a ferry-boate to conveigh passengers 
over Charles River, which betweene the two Townes is a quarter of a 
mile over" (Col. Records, i. 81, 88; N. E. Prospect, part i. ch. 10). 
Edward Converse's ferry-boat may, possibly, have suggested the name : 
but it is far more probable that it was given long before the coming of 
the English to the points on both sides of the river, between which the 
Indians were accustomed to cross in their canoes. 


Other ferries besides that of the Charles were similarly designated- 
Compare, with the localities to which they are applied, the variously 
corrupted names of Shaomet, Shawomock or Shawomut (otherwise writ- 
ten ^SLiSHaicomet), in Warwick, R.I. ; a neck of land running into Nar- 
ragansett Bay, on the west side of Providence River and between it and 
Cowesit Bay ; and also the name of another point of land, now in Som- 
erset, running southwesterly into the Bay from Slade's Ferry (Parsons's 
u Indian Names of Places in Rhode Island," p. 25) ; Mishawum, a 
neck and point in Dartmouth, Mass. ; Meeshawn in Truro and Province- 
town, and Shaume river and neck in Sandwich (Plym. Col. Rec, 
i. 134). 

It is vexatious to be compelled to make so long a story of a morsel 
of Indian : but I could not well make it shorter without omitting some 
step in (what seems to me) the demonstration. So many guesses at 
the meaning of Shawmut have been proffered, that I would not suggest 
a new etymology, unless I was very confident it was well founded: 
and I wish that you and others to whom it may be communicated, 
before deciding to accept or to reject it, should have an opportunity of 
tracing the several steps by which it was arrived at. 

Yesterday, I read the proof of the last signature of a reprint of 
Williams's " Key," — soon to be issued by the " Narragansett Club," of 
Providence. I hope soon to have the pleasure of offering a copy to the 
acceptance of the Historical Society. Some years ago, a diligent 
antiquary published a town-history, in the Preface to which he 
remarked, that "the following pages had greatly encroached on the 
hours which should have been devoted to sleep." Possibly you will be 
disposed to say as much of my notes on the " Key ; " but, if time and 
paper are wasted, I must throw much of the responsibility upon your- 
self, for I should not have consented to undertake the work, had it not 
been for your instigation to write down whatever came uppermost, 
without waiting for leisure to revise or recast. 

I am, my dear Sir, very respectfully and truly yours, 

J. Hammond Trumbull. 
Hartford, Nov. 5, 1866. 

Mr. Amory read the following paper on the military 
character and services of General John Sullivan, of New 
Hampshire : — 



In a recently published volume by George Bancroft, the 
ninth of a work entitled " History of the United States/' and 
the third of that portion of it devoted to the American Revo- 
lution, certain errors are found which require correction. 
These reflect upon the character and conduct of several of 
our most honored Revolutionary officers, — in part being, it is 
conceived, mistakes of judgment ; in other instances, misap- 
prehensions of fact. The present object is to set right those 
that relate to Major-General John Sullivan, of New Hamp- 

It is unfortunate for his fame, that, with the exception of 
the brief memoir in the Third Yolume of the Second Series 
of Sparks's u American Biography," no separate account has 
been given either of his civil or his military career. The 
hope had been indulged, that some citizen of New Hampshire, 
familiar with the part taken by that State in the war, and 
with the character and services of its historical personages 
who co-operated with Sullivan in his labors, would have felt 
called upon to become his biographer. But this hope has 
been disappointed. 

His immediate descendants, incessantly employed in public 
or professional labor, have had neither leisure nor disposition 
to establish his claim to be remembered with respect among 
the patriots who founded the republic. But, now that asper- 
sions have been without foundation cast upon his discretion 
and generalship, it has become the duty of those by whom 
his memory is cherished, to protect it. It might well have 
been wished, that some abler writer, better qualified to do just- 
ice to his devotion to the cause of his country at the critical 
period of its Revolutionary struggle, would have assumed the 


task. In submitting with diffidence to the candor of the pub- 
lic and the Society, this vindication of his military character 
from reproaches, unwarranted by contemporary evidence, and 
at variance with the opinion entertained of his qualifications 
for command by the best and ablest of his brother officers, 
confidence is indulged that judgment will be reserved until 
both sides have been heard. 

Although the name of General Sullivan and his services 
are generally familiar to students of American history, a brief 
recital of the principal incidents of his career is indispensa- 
ble to a clear view or just estimate of so much of it as has 
been misrepresented by Mr. Bancroft. He was born at Som- 
ersworth, in New Hampshire, on the opposite side of the 
river from Berwick, in Maine, which was his early home, 
18th February, 1740, receiving from his father, who had him- 
self enjoyed the advantages of a liberal culture in Europe, a 
good education. After a voyage to the West Indies, he 
became a member of the family of the Hon. Isaac Livermore, 
a lawyer of Portsmouth, in extensive practice, and, under his 
instruction, prepared himself for his profession. He early 
exhibited ability of -a high order ; gained the respect and 
encouragement of his instructor ; and soon attained, by his 
industry, learning, and eloquence, a distinguished position at 
the bar of New Hampshire. Such was his professional suc- 
cess, that, soon after his marriage at the age of twenty, he 
purchased the commodious dwelling at Durham, still in good 
preservation, which continued to be his abode for the re- 
mainder of his life, and that of his widow till her death 
in 1820. 

For the next ten years, he was constantly employed in 
lucrative causes, taking an elevated rank as an able advocate 
and judicious counsellor. He enjoyed the friendship of the 
Wentworths and the Langdons, as well as that of Lowell, 
Adams, and Otis, leading members of the Massachusetts Bar. 
He early promoted the introduction into New Hampshire of 


that manufacturing industry to which she owes so large a 
portion of her present prosperity, established cloth and full- 
ing mills at Durham, and, before the breaking out of the 
war, had already accumulated, if not wealth, a handsome 

Of a robust constitution and active spirit, he had a natural 
taste for military life ; and although, with the exception of 
uniting with his father and brothers in the defence of Ber- 
wick from occasional attacks by the Indians, he had, before 
our Revolutionary period, no actual experience of warfare, 
heroes of Louisbourg abounded in his neighborhood, incit- 
ing emulation. He is said to have devoted, in his historical 
studies, particular attention to military movements and en- 
gagements, and to have been able accurately to describe most 
of the great battles of ancient and modern times. In 1772, 
at the age of thirty-one, he held a colonial commission as 
major, and improved his opportunity for becoming acquainted 
with the practical details, as well as the rudiments, of mili- 
tary science. 

His ardent nature and his abhorrence of oppression, his 
contributions to the political press, and his extended influ- 
ence and popularity, marked him early as a leader in the 
impending struggle. In the spring of 1774, he was a member 
of the Provincial Assembly of New Hampshire, and, in Sep- 
tember of the same year, was sent to Philadelphia as one of 
the New-Hampshire delegation to the Continental Congress. 
His name appeared on many of the most important committees 
of the latter body ; and he took his part in its deliberations, 
standing well with his associates. 

Soon after his return home, he planned, with Thomas Picker- 
ing and John Langdon, an attack, on the night of the 12th of 
December, upon Fort William and Mary, at Newcastle, in Ports- 
mouth Harbor, — one of the earliest acts of hostility against 
the Mother Country; and, by the aid of a portion of a force he 
had been for some months engaged in drilling in their military 


exercises, in preparation for the anticipated conflict, carried 
ninety-seven kegs of powder and a quantity of small arms, in 
gondolas, to Durham, where they were concealed, in part, 
under the pulpit of its meeting-house. Soon after the battles 
of Lexington and Concord, in April, had aroused the people 
to a realizing sense that they were actually engaged in hostili- 
ties, these much-needed supplies were brought by him to the 
lines at Cambridge, where he marched with his company, and 
were used at the battle of Bunker Hill. 

Immediately after the attack on the fort, the Governor of 
the Province issued a proclamation, declaring the offenders 
guilty of high treason, and offering a reward for their appre- 
hension. In open defiance of his authority, Major Sullivan, 
Lieutenant Adams, and other citizens of Durham holding civil 
or military commissions from the king, assembled at the 
Adams tavern, and, with Sullivan at their head, moved in 
procession to the Common, near the meeting-house, where 
they kindled a bonfire, and, in the presence of a large num- 
ber of persons, burned their commissions, uniforms, and all 
other insignia which in any way connected them with the 
royal government. 

Resuming his place, on the 10th of May, in the Congress, 
he was placed on many of its most important committees, and 
of that of war was chairman. When, soon after, Dickinson 
moved a second address to the king, John Adams says Sulli- 
van opposed it in a strain of wit, eloquence, and fluency, un- 
usual even for him, filling with dismay those who favored 

In June, when Washington was elected commander-in-chief, 
Sullivan, appointed one of the eight brigadiers, went with 
him to Cambridge, where his brigade, posted at Winter Hill, 
with that of Greene, formed Lee's division, the left wing 
of the army investing Boston. He was twice detailed to the 
eastward to fortify against British cruisers ; was active and 
zealous in procuring re-enforcements, rendering the war 


popular, and harassing the enemy; and won the affection and 
respect of Washington and his brother officers. His letter 
from the camp, dated Dec. 12, 1775, on the formation of the 
constitution of New Hampshire, is replete with wise states- 
manship ; and the following, to John Adams, proves his zeal 
and activity in the performance of his military duties : — . 

Camp on Winter Hill, Dec r 21, 1775. 
Dear Sir, — Did not the hurry of our affairs prevent, I should often 
write you respecting the state of our army ; but it has been my fortune 
to be employed almost night and day. When I had Winter Hill nearly 
completed, I was ordered to Ploughed Hill, where for a long time I was 
almost day and night in fortifying. Twice have I been ordered to the 
Eastward, to fortify and defend Piscataway Harbour ; but unfortunately 
was obliged to return without an opportunity of proving the works I 
had taken so much pains to construct. This being over, I was called 
upon to raise 2000 Troops from New Hampshire, and bring them on 
the lines in ten days ; this I undertook, and was happy enough to per- 
form ; otherwise the desertion of the Connecticut Troops might have 
proved fatal to us. I might add that 3,000 from your Colony arrived 
at the same time to supply the defect. This, with the other necessary 
business in my Department, has so far engaged my time and attention 
that I hope you will not require an apology for my not writing. I have 
now many things to write, but must content myself with mentioning a 
few of them at present, and leave the residue to another opportunity. 
I will in the first place inform you that we have possession of almost 
every advantageous post round Boston, from whence we might, with 
great ease, burn or destroy the town, was it not that we fail in a very 
trifling matter, namely, we have no powder to do it with. However, 
as we have a sufficiency for our small arms, we are not without hope 
to become masters of the town. Old Boreas and Jack Frost are now 
at work building a bridge over all the rivers and bays, which once 
completed, we take possession of the town, or perish in the attempt. 
I have the greatest reason to believe I shall be saved, for my faith is 
very strong. I have liberty to take possession of your house. Mrs. 
Adams was kind enough to honor me with a visit the other day in 
company with a number of other ladies and the Rev. Mr. Smith. She 
gave me power to enter and take possession. There is nothing now 
wanting but your consent, which I shall wait for till the Bridge is com- 
pleted ; and, unless given before that time, shall make a forcible entry, 


and leave you to bring your action. I hope in less than three weeks 
to write you from Boston. 

The prisoners taken in our privateer are sent to England for trial, 
and so is Col. Allen. This is glorious encouragement for people to 
engage in our service when their prisoners are treated with so much 
humanity and respect, and the law of retaliation not put in force 
against them. I know you have published a declaration of that sort ; 
but I never knew a man to feel the weight of chains and imprisonment 
by mere declarations on paper; and, believe me, till their barbarous 
use of our prisoners is retaliated, we shall be miserable. Let me ask 
if we have anything to hope from the mercy of His Majesty or his 
Ministers? Have we any encouragement from the people in Great 
Britain ? Could they exert themselves more if we had shaken off the 
yoke and declared ourselves independent? Why, then, in God's name, 
is it not done ? Whence arises this spirit of moderation ? This want 
of decision ? Do the members of your respectable body think that the 
enemy will throw their shot and shells with more force than at pres- 
ent ? Do they think the fate of Charlestown or Falmouth might have 
been worse, or the King's Proclamation more severe, if we had openly 
declared war? Could they have treated our prisoners- worse if we 
were in open and avowed rebellion, than they now do? 

Why, then, do we call ourselves freemen, and act the part of timid 
slaves ? I don't apply this to you — I know you too well to suspect 
your firmness and resolution. But let me beg of you to use those 
talent3 I know you possess to destroy that spirit of moderation which 
has almost ruined, and, if not speedily rooted out, will prove the final 
overthrow of America. That spirit gave them possession of Boston, 
lost us all our arms and ammunition, and now causes our brothers 
which have fallen into their hands to be treated like rebels. But 
enough of this. I feel too sensibly to write more upon this subject. 
I beg you to make my most respectful compliments to Mr. Hancock and 
your brother delegates, also to Col. Lee and those worthy brethren 
who laboured with us in the vineyard, when I had the honor to be with 
you in the Senate. You may venture to assure them that when an 
opportunity presents, if I should not have courage enough to fight my- 
self, I shall do all in my power to encourage others. 

It is not proposed to present any detailed account of his 
services at the siege. In the archives of New Hampshire, at 
Concord, are to be found his letters to the Assembly and Com- 



mittee of Safety upon subjects connected therewith. They 
prove him to have been busily employed in the performance 
of the duties assigned him. When, at a later period, unjustly 
censured, as again now, that four thousand men did not de- 
feat thrice their number at Brandy wine, he alludes, as will be 
seen in the sequel, to some of the services he rendered. 

After the evacuation of Boston, 17th March, 1776, he took 
command of the army in Canada, conducting the retreat be- 
ginning with the fall of Montgomery at Quebec, and, in this 
arduous service, displayed skill, prudence, and energy, to the 
satisfaction of Washington and of Congress. When his com- 
mand had been extricated from the perils, to which disease 
and the great superiority of the enemy's forces in Canada had 
exposed them, Gates was appointed to the northern army. 
On the 12th of July, 1776, Sullivan took leave of his officers, 
and they presented him, on the occasion, an address, in 
which the following passage evinces their sensibility to the 
dangers they had escaped, and the esteem in which he was 
held by them : " It is to you, Sir, the public are indebted for 
the preservation of their property in Canada. It is to you we 
owe our safety thus far. Your humanity will call forth the 
silent tear and the grateful ejaculation of the sick. Your 
universal impartiality will force the applause of the wearied 
soldier." * 

In the early part of August, he was promoted to the rank 
of Major-General, and joined the main army under Washing- 
ton, at New York. A British force, over thirty thousand 
strong, had recently arrived from Halifax ; and, on the 22d, 
General Howe landed fifteen thousand troops on Long Island, 
increased by the 27th, the day of the battle, to twenty-four 
thousand, besides which he had, to his great advantage, as 
they were familiar with the country, a body of Loyalists, 
under De Lancy. His object was the city of New York, 
then occupied by the American army. Our success in com- 

* The whole of this Address will be found at the end of the volume. 


pelling the evacuation of Boston, and the recent intelligence 
of Lee's good fortune in repulsing the British at Charleston, 
tended to encourage us, though neither in numbers, organiza- 
tion, nor equipments were we at all equal to the enemy. As 
the possession of the westerly portion of Long Island was 
indispensable to any effective operations against the city, it 
was probable that would be the first point of attack. Wash- 
ington occupied it with about nine thousand men, — as many as 
he could prudently spare from his main force, — and had caused 
lines of intrenchment to be constructed for their protection. 

Where Long Island approaches nearest to the city, there 
is a neck of land, about two miles and a half long, and con- 
taining about fifteen hundred acres, which is capable, on 
its eastern front, of being defended by works a mile and a 
quarter in length. Two miles in front of these lines is a 
range of hills, — at points two hundred feet in elevation, some- 
what irregular in their general course from north to south, 
intersected by defiles, — through which, here and there, were 
roads running from the shore to the neighboring villages. 
As these heights commanded the interior lines about Walla- 
bout Bay, it was necessary, for any effective defence, that 
they should be occupied. Greene had been in command, and, 
with Sullivan and Stirling, engaged in fortifying them, when 
he was taken ill of a fever, and compelled, on the 24th, to 
leave the island. Sullivan succeeded; but, as there were 
indications of an impending conflict with the enemy, to Put- 
nam, whose age as well as seniority of commission, it was 
considered, constituted a claim to the position next in re- 
sponsibility to that of the commander-in-chief, was confided 
the direction of our forces on the island. 

While, if an effort were to be made to retain possession of 
New York, it was important to oppose the approach of the 
enemy at Brooklyn, his landing on the island might be used 
as a feint merely to lure our forces thither, and, by the aid of 
his fleet, the city be taken. This compelled the separation of 


our army by the straits between the islands, and explains 
why a force so inadequate was left exposed. 

While the British were concentrating their forces, the 
heights were occupied by several of our regiments ; and 
skirmishes occasionally occurred. But as the whole line of 
the hills to be guarded, extending from Yellow Hook, on the 
Jamaica road, to what is now Greenwood Cemetery, was six 
miles in length, the force we employed to guard them was 
wholly inadequate. What force we had, from some oversight 
of Putnam, who disregarded the injunctions of Washington 
and the advice of Sullivan, was not wisely distributed. Stir- 
ling, as Sullivan says, was to have commanded outside the 
lines ; while to him was assigned the command, under Putnam 
himself, of the five thousand within. As Putnam had reason 
to believe the enemy would advance by the shore, on the 
Gowanus road, at half-past three, on the morning of the 27th, 
he awoke Stirling in his tent, and sent him to oppose them. 
Sullivan went out to the heights, in front of Flatbush, where 
Hurd's, Parsons's, Hand's, and Miles's regiments were sta- 
tioned, — General Woodhull, with a force of Long Island 
militia, keeping guard on the extreme left. 

When he reached the front, he called for volunteers to 
ascertain the position of the enemy, but, out of twelve se- 
lected for the purpose, not one returned. In the plain at 
Flatbush, Van Heister kept his attention occupied by his 
artillery and occasional attacks in line. Meanwhile, Howe, 
Clinton, Cornwallis, and Percy — who, with the principal por- 
tion of the British army, had, the evening before, fallen back 
to Flatlands, and thence made a circuit of several miles 
during the night, sawing down the trees that obstructed 
their march, lest the sound of the axe should betray their 
design — had interposed themselves between the heights 
and our interior lines, two or three miles in our rear. By 
cutting off all our patrols and detachments, they accom- 
plished their object without our knowledge; and when, 


at half-past eight, we discovered them, it was too late to 

Of our force on the island, in all about nine thousand, 
probably four thousand, including the fifteen hundred under 
Stirling, were on the Heights. Sullivan, when he found his 
earlier anticipation fulfilled, and that his position was sur- 
rounded, made a reconnoissance with four hundred men ; 
and, as he was returning, found himself between Yan Heis- 
ter's men, who were pressing up from Flatbush, and Clinton's 
at Bedford. His small force fought well, in the woods, from 
half-past nine till twelve, by which time they were killed or 
scattered, and he himself was taken prisoner. 

When candid minds remember, that it was no disgrace to 
yield to superior numbers, arms, and artillery, it will seem 
hardly worthy of an American historian to go out of his way to 
assign imaginary reasons, why this and so many of our Revo- 
lutionary battles, where the odds were fourfold against us, 
resulted as they did. The Americans effected all, and more 
than all, that could have been expected under the circum- 
stances ; but, in the excited state of the public mind, it was 
human to attach blame to some one, in order to explain de- 
feat. It was much to the honor of Washington, however, that 
he never condescended to such injustice, or sought to build 
up his own reputation by creating prejudice against his sub- 
ordinates. It would be creditable to modern historians, eager 
to attract attention to their books, if they were equally con- 
scientious, and exhibited more of the fairness and candor 
that distinguished Judge Marshall, in his earlier and more 
reliable relation of the events of the Revolution. 

Mr. Bisbee, who was with Sullivan in the woods, states 
that when his men, feeling further resistance useless, dis- 
persed, Sullivan rode toward the enemy, with the expectation 
of sharing the fate of so many of his soldiers who had re- 
ceived no quarter, intending to sell his life as dearly as pos- 
sible. As he approached the enemy, several of their men, 


instructed in capturing prisoners, contrived to arrest his 
course, render useless his weapons, and lift him from the 

Bancroft states (p. 91) that Sullivan's party fired with 
nervous rapidity. Is it not possible the authority on which 
this statement is made was that of the British officer, who, 
in relating what occurred on the afternoon of the day before, 
says that the force with which he was connected opposite 
Flatbush, experiencing loss from the American batteries on 
the heights, quietly withdrew into the woods behind the ine- 
qualities of the ground, the shot striking the trees over their 
heads ? 

The Americans underrated the force opposed to them, — 
some six times their number, — or they would have with- 
drawn earlier within the lines. Howe over-estimated the 
American force, or he would have proceeded at once to take 
their lines by assault. The vigorous resistance by Stirling 
on the right, and the desperation with which the left, on 
retiring, sold their lives to the Hessians, who gave no quar- 
ter, led the British general, who remembered the loss sus- 
tained in attacking our lines at Bunker Hill, to make regular 
approaches. After two rainy days, Washington withdrew his 
army on the 29th, leaving on the mind of the enemy the 
impression, that, though we might be defeated, we could not 
be easily conquered. 

Our loss was heavy, but not so great as might have been 
expected from the vast superiority of the enemy and the 
mode in which we were surrounded.- 

Congress and public opinion alike demanded that Howe 
should be resisted, it being deemed more judicious to sustain 
a partial defeat than abandon New York without an effort. 
The Island shore was high, and commanded the city. But the 
force that could be spared to keep possession was wholly inad- 
equate to guard such an extent of country, or prevent the 
British, many times their number, from effecting their objects. 


The inhabitants were legalists, many of them in the British 
camp; pickets and patrols were easily cut off; and twenty- 
four thousand veterans, under accomplished officers, — such 
as Howe, Cornwallis, Clinton, Erskine, Grant, Percy, and Van 
Heister, — could find no great difficulty in environing and 
defeating four thousand, if these ventured to oppose them. 
That their resistance was creditable, — Sullivan's was de- 
clared by the enemy to have been " gallant and persistent," 
Stirling's by all admitted to have been brave to the point of 
heroism, — is proved by, the hesitation of Howe to follow up 
his advantage by assault on the lines at Brooklyn, giving 
Washington time, while he was making his regular ap- 
proaches, to withdraw, without further loss, from the Island. 

There were reasons enough for the result, without ascrib- 
ing it to neglect to guard the Bedford road, — which both 
Washington and Sullivan had repeatedly urged upon the 
attention of Putnam, and which had in reality been provided 
for, as well as the means at our disposal admitted, and in part 
by the force of Woodhull, — or casting reproach upon hon- 
orable men, who were risking life on the field and scaffold 
to maintain the rights and liberties of their countrymen. 
Sullivan certainly was vigilant, paying for some nights fifty 
dollars from his own resources, to procure intelligence of the 
enemy's movements. 

Sullivan and Lord Stirling were taken, as prisoners, on 
board the " Eagle," the flagship of Lord Howe, the British 
admiral, who courteously received them. He agreed at once 
to their exchange, Sullivan for General Prescott, who was 
then at Philadalphia, where Congress was in session. The 
conversation of the Admiral with his prisoners was frank and 
friendly, expressing his wish, that such mutual concessions 
might be made as would adjust the dispute. The previous 
efforts of himself and his brother, the General, to open nego- 
tiations, had been defeated at the threshold, as his instruc- 
tions forbade his recognition of the Congress ; and it was 


now proposed, that their desire for a conference should be 
informally communicated by Sullivan, who was to be released 
on parole to effect his exchange. 

Mr. Bancroft — in his severe denunciation of what was a 
very simple and natural thing to do, for any one who was 
a prisoner in a civil war, at a time before any system of 
exchanges had been effected — loses sight not only of what 
is just, but what is dignified. It does not matter much 
to General Sullivan, nor will it much affect his historical 
position among those who are familiar with the events and 
characters of the Revolution, what Mr. Bancroft may think 
of his discretion. The majority of sensible readers will be 
puzzled to recognize any connection between the terms and 
the facts, and will conclude, upon the whole, that after a 
serious defeat, with a victorious army against us of double 
the strength of any we had to oppose to it, the chance 
of establishing our independence was not so great as it had 
been ; and that, if we could make peace upon the terms we 
had always before the war insisted upon, — namely, allegiance 
to the Crown, chartered rights inviolate, independence of 
Parliament, — it was worthy of consideration. At all events, 
we gained time to recover our vigor, discouraging by nego- 
tiation the activity of the enemy, and obtaining recognition 
as belligerents, which, in the event of disaster, might have 
saved even Washington himself from the scaffold. 

That Lord Howe did not divulge any such powers at the 
subsequent conference with Adams, Franklin, and Rutledge, 
the Committee of Congress appointed in pursuance of his 
overture for negotiation, is neither reason nor argument that 
he did not possess them. As the committee insisted through- 
out upon independence as the only admis'sible basis of nego- 
tiation, there was no occasion to do so. If the control of 
Parliament over any adjustment was likely to be paramount, 
it must be remembered, that Magna Charta and the settle- 
ment of 1688 had always been constitutionally regarded as 


concessions from the prerogative, that the treaty-making power 
vested in the Crown, and that, if terms had been concluded 
under the powers lodged with the Howes by the king and 
his cabinet, upon the principle that legislation and represen- 
tation, in all cases whatsoever, should go together, or upon 
such a system of government as that, at this time, proposed 
to be carried out in the Canadas, Parliament would probably 
have assented or acquiesced. It was, therefore, no indiscre- 
tion in Sullivan to repose the most implicit confidence in the 
assurances given him, that adequate powers were possessed 
by the Howes to effect an accommodation ; or inconsistency in 
them to intimate as much on board the " Eagle," in confiden- 
tial intercourse, and yet not make their full powers to treat 
known when the formal conference took place. 

As it was simply intended, that Sullivan should communi- 
cate, in an informal manner, an overture for negotiation 
through such conference, only to be held if sanctioned by 
Congress, it was wholly unnecessary that he should have 
received any written instructions ; indeed, instructions were 
wholly out of the case. He, as one of the acting parties, was 
receiving himself a proposition (affecting his associates as well 
as himself, and compromising no one), upon which he merely 
consented to consult. To deny the propriety of such a course 
in civil war, would be to close the door to all negotiation; 
and, if our affairs had been as desperate as they looked at 
that particular crisis, with thirty thousand men in the field 
against half that number, in the event of further disaster, 
it would have subjected all concerned in the rebellion to the 
mercy of the conquerors upon unconditional surrender. 

In the freedom of confidential intercourse with his old 
associates of the Congress, not probably more than forty in 
number, General Sullivan stated with entire frankness what- 
ever had occurred on board the vessel, as no doubt it was 
the wish of Lord Howe, and his manifest duty as an officer 

appointed under their authority, that he should. When 



requested to commit to writing what he understood Lord 
Howe to propose, he was cautious and guarded, and no 
exceptions were or could be taken to his words. Subse- 
quently, at the conference, Eutledge, in repeating from recol- 
lection, gave a force and color to what Sullivan had said 
several days before in his oral communication, which Howe 
claimed was beyond the natural import of his language. Of 
course, he meant if Sullivan had been correctly reported ; but 
any fair and generous mind, knowing how easily expressions 
may be misinterpreted or erroneously recalled, would never 
think of impeaching character or impugning veracity on 
grounds so unsubstantial. 

It should be borne in mind, that recourse was had to this 
indirect mode of opening communications, always of advan- 
tage to belligerents, and especially in civil war, in conse- 
quence of the prohibition of the British Government to the 
Howes to recognize the Congress. General Washington knew 
what was intended, and did not consider it proper that the 
military authority should prevent an appeal to the civil power. 
It would not only have been churlish towards Howe, to decline 
communicating what was a mere overture for a conference ; 
but it would have been an imprudent oversight to have 
neglected so valuable an opportunity of ascertaining the ex- 
tent of the boasted powers of the Commissioners, as well as a 
reflection upon the ability and wisdom of Congress to decide 
what their public duty demanded. They concluded to accept 
the proposition, and improved it to disabuse their constituents 
of any expectation of satisfactory concessions, thus gaining 
time needed for re-organization after defeat, and inspiring a 
more determined spirit to persevere in the contest. 

All condemn, now, the want of wisdom of the Confederate 
leaders in declining, in January, 1865, the terms proposed by 
Mr. Lincoln. In numerous wars, and especially those of a 
civil character, peace has been brought about by informal 
propositions. Humanity demands that no reasonable means 


should be neglected to stay the useless effusion of blood. Sul- 
livan had been a respected member of the Congress. Settle- 
ment of the difficulty was as much an affair of New Hampshire 
as of Massachusetts. John Adams, fearing re-action, might 
have said, that he wished a bullet had passed through the brain 
of the emissary, as Mr. Bancroft courteously calls him. But 
this was simply his mode of expressing his extreme unwilling- 
ness to enter into any negotiation with the British Govern- 
ment, rather than an indication of an impaired confidence in 
the integrity or patriotism of that emissary. His relations 
with Sullivan, then and throughout the war, seem to have been 
respectful and friendly ; and, a few days later, he himself was 
not unwilling to go with Franklin and Rutledge to confer w r ith 
Howe on the same business, though as much convinced when 
he went, as before or afterwards, that no propositions would 
be made which were based on the independence of the States. 
Besides, a few years later, he writes that he would gladly 
exchange all prospects of success in the war for the condition 
existing before the commencement of hostilities. We think, 
therefore, that the whole passage in Mr. Bancroft's volume, 
to which we have referred, betrays an unreasonable prejudice 
on the part of the writer against General Sullivan. 

In October and November, Sullivan was with Washington, 
in Westchester County ; and, after the army crossed the 
Hudson, he was placed under the orders of Lee. When the 
latter was taken prisoner, on the 13th of December, Sullivan 
forthwith obeyed the orders of Washington to join him at 
Newtown, opposite Trenton; and, having crossed the Dela- 
ware at Easton, he effected, on the 20th, a junction with the 
main army. The same day, Gates arrived with five hundred 
men, — all that remained of four New-England regiments. 
Immediate measures were taken for the surprisal of Rahl at 
Trenton ; and on the 25th, at three o'clock, with twenty-four 
hundred men, — one-half of his whole army, — Washington 
marched to MacKonkey's ferry, and, by three o'clock in the 


morning of the 26th, had crossed the river. It was bitterly 
cold ; and a storm of snow and hail set in as they started for 
a nine-miles' march to Trenton. Sullivan commanded the 
right wing, on the river-road ; Greene, the left : and both 
reached Trenton nearly at the same moment, — at eight 
o'clock. The surprise was complete. Rahl was defeated and 
mortally wounded ; and Washington recrossed the Delaware, 
with nine hundred prisoners. 

When, on the 30th, Washington again crossed the Delaware 
into Jersey, taking post at Trenton, and found Cornwallis in 
his front, too strong to attack with any reasonable chance of 
success, he moved, in the night of the 2d of January, towards 
Princeton. On his way, several British regiments were en- 
countered, Mercer was killed, Mawhood was repulsed by 
Washington in person, and the Fortieth and Fifty-fifth were 
pursued by Sullivan to the College, whence, after slight re- 
sistance, they fled to Brunswick, nearly two hundred (194) 
of them being taken prisoners. 

During the next six months, Sullivan was busily engaged 
in front of the main army, which lay during the winter at 
Morristown ; and at that season, incessantly vigilant, he kept 
the British at Brunswick and Amboy, many times his num- 
ber, from marauds. 

In a spirit of rivalry in the army, — falling far short of any 
bitterness of feeling, though not always so in Congress, — the 
palm of valor was disputed between the South and the North. 
In a letter of this period (Feb. 13, 1777) to Meshech Weare, 
President of the Assembly of New Hampshire, he writes, " You 
may want to know how your men fight. I tell you, exceed- 
ingly well, when they have proper officers. I have been 
much pleased to see a day approaching to try the difference 
between Yankee cowardice and Southern valor. The day, or 
rather the days, have arrived. . . . General Washington made 
no scruple to say, publicly, that the remnant of the Eastern 
regiments were the strength of his army, though their num- 


bers, comparatively speaking, were but small. He calls them 
in front when the enemy are there ; he sends them to the rear 
when the enemy threatens that way. All the general officers 
allow them to be the best of troops. The Southern officers 
and soldiers allow it in time of danger, but not at all other 
times. Believe me, Sir, the Yankees took Trenton before the 
other troops knew any thing of the matter. More than that, 
there was an engagement ; and, what will surprise you still 
more, the line that attacked the town consisted of but eight 
hundred Yankees, and there were sixteen hundred Hessians 
to oppose them. At Princeton, when the Seventeenth regi- 
ment had thrown thirty-five hundred Southern militia into 
the utmost confusion, a regiment of Yankees restored the 
day. This General Mifflin confessed to me, though the Phila- 
delphia papers tell us a different story. It seemed to have 
been quite forgotten, that, while the Seventeenth was enga- 
ging these troops, six hundred Yankees had the town to take 
against the Fortieth and Fifty-fifth regiments, which they did 
without loss, owing to the manner of attack. But enough of 
this. I do not wish to reflect, but beg leave to assure you, 
that newspapers, and even letters, do not always speak the 

As the summer advanced, the British general, after various 
efforts to cross through New Jersey, which were as often dis- 
concerted, embarked twenty thousand men for a destination 
for several weeks conjectured, but not known. Sullivan lay 
at Hanover, about twenty miles from Staten Island, whence 
frequent forays had been made by the enemy on the main. 
Earlier in the spring, an expedition, sent from New York 
against Danbury, in Connecticut, had been very destructive ; 
the banks of the Hudson had been harried ; and frequently 
New Jersey had been visited by marauding parties, and peace- 
able citizens plundered or carried off. Ascertaining, that, while 
sixteen hundred European regulars were at the northerly 
end of the Island, about eight miles off, near New Brighton, 


one thousand loyal militiamen were scattered at different 
posts along the shore, he arranged with his officers an expedi- 
tion to capture the latter. 

Ogden says the plan was well concerted, and perfectly con- 
sistent. The enemy were put to rout, and many prisoners were 
taken, with little loss. From a mistake of Smallwood, in the 
night, the regulars became aware of their presence on the 
island ; and, following them to the boats, attacked the rear- 
guard left to pick up stragglers from the ranks. The guard 
" sold themselves dear," it is said, and, after vigorous resist- 
ance and some loss, about two hundred were compelled to 

Judge Marshall says, " The enterprise was well planned, 
and, in its commencement, happily executed;" "but the boats 
were insufficient." The boats that carried the force to the 
island were certainly capable of bringing them back, and 
would have done so in safety, had it not been for a laxity of 
discipline on the part of his subordinates, which Sullivan, by 
the strictest orders, had done what he could to prevent. 
Similar enterprises, some attended with the happiest results 
and consequently familiar, others baffled and forgotten, were 
constantly occurring ; and, if ever likely to prove successful, 
it was at that very conjuncture, when the British army was at 

Sullivan was censured, but the Court of Inquiry and the 
Congress held him blameless. Other historical writers, swift to 
defame, have in some instances before, as Mr. Bancroft has 
now, attributed his want of success to negligence in provid- 
ing transportation. He no doubt procured all the boats that 
he could find ; and opportunity, in war, would never be im- 
proved if no risks were hazarded. We do not claim for Gen- 
eral Sullivan any particular merit for the descent on the 
island. Had it resulted, as might have been reasonably an- 
ticipated, in the capture of the thousand loyal militiamen, it 
would have been considered a very sensible enterprise. Our 


general officers were encouraged to activity, and to embrace 
all similar occasions of inflicting loss on the enemy, by the 
leading men of the time ; and the letter of John Adams to 
Sullivan, given in his Biography (Works, i. 259), probably 
made him emulous to do all in his power. 

The following letter to Hancock explains, in a measure, the 
malign spirit with which he had to contend in the discharge 
of his duty : — 

Camp on Metuchin Hills, Octob. 17th, 1777 - 
Dear Sir, — I do myself the Honor to enclose Congress a copy of the 
result of a Court of Inquiry, respecting my conduct on Staten Island, 
after perusing which and examining the evidence sent by me in a former 
letter, Congress must be at some loss, to know how it was possible for 
Lt. Col°. Smith, and Major Taylor, to write so warmly against me, to 
their friends in Congress when there was no colour for it. I shall now 
give Congress the key to it, and it will no longer remain a mystery. On 
the 13th August, last, when my Division lay at Hanover, these two gentle- 
men attacked Major Sherburn who acted as Deputy Adjutant- General, 
on the Public Parade, before all the soldiers, about the severity of the 
duty, averring that there was no necessity of picquets, or out-guards, 
as we were in a friend's country and the enemy at such a distance. 
This was said with heat on the one side, and replied to with as much 
warmth on the other; I was much surprised at hearing so dangerous a 
doctrine had been advanced by field officers before the soldiers of my 
Division. I knew it was an established rule among military men to 
use the same precautions in a friend's country, as in an enemy's ; for a 
relaxation or neglect of duty has proved the destruction of many 
armies. The fate of Hannibal after his troops had tasted the delights 
of Capua, was a striking instance of the evil tendency which follows 
such neglect. I therefore on the next day y issued orders to my Divi- 
sion, which you have, enclosed. This matter being known throughout 
the division, it was early perceived against whom they were pointed. 
This was by them deemed unpardonable, and, I suppose, retaliation 
determined upon. 

But no opportunity offered till the affair of Staten Island. They 
immediately began to make a party against me, in which they were 
warmly seconded by General de Borre. This, Sir, was the foundation 
of all the clamor raised against me ; and every engine was set at work 


to raise a report throughout the country, that my officers in general 
were dissatisfied with my conduct. This report coming to the hearing 
of the officers, they have met on the occasion, and the regiments have 
many of them delivered in, and the others are making out papers, 
similar to the one you have, enclosed, from Col. Ford's. I believe 
some officers in Hazen's will not do it ; but many of them have, and some 
conclude by saying that if they were as happy with the field officers 
of his regiment as with me, they would be as happy as they could wish. 
I hope, after having dealt thus openly with Congress, and laid every 
thing before them, the party who have arisen up against me, will at 
least be sensible that they have injured me without cause. I am happy 
that my conduct in military life thus far will bear the strictest scrutiny, 
and every inquiry into it will redound to my honour. But I am far 
from expecting this always to be the case. I well know that I am in 
common with the rest of mankind liable to errors, and it must be a 
miracle if I escape them all. At the same time, though at a distance 
from the Senate, I know there is a party who would improve the first 
[opportunity ?] to work my ruin. This was the only motive that in- 
duced me to ask to retire from the army. It was not because I was 
weary of serving my country, but to rescue my reputation from ruin. 
It is exceedingly hard for me to fight against the enemies of my coun- 
try, and at the same time combat with the very persons I am fighting for. 
The last action took off half of my [military] family, perhaps the next 
may sweep the residue, and involve me in their fate ; and, what is still 
more deplorable, my reputation may unjustly perish by my side. This is 
a poor encouragement to sacrifice that life which I have often ventured 
in my Country's cause, and to exchange domestic ease for the dusty, 
field of Mars. But as every American looks up to Congress, for jus- 
tice, I cannot persuade myself that it will refuse, either to approve my 
conduct publicly, or grant me leave to retire from the army. 

The following is the account of the expedition by Mar- 
shall : — 

" The force of the enemy on the island amounted to between two or 
three thousand men, of whom nearly one thousand were Provincials, 
who were stationed at different places on the coast, opposite the Jersey 
shore. The British and German troops, amounting to sixteen hun- 
dred men, were in a fortified camp, near the Watering Place. Gen- 
eral Sullivan thought it practicable to surprise and bring off the 


Provincials before they could be supported by the European troops ; 
and he was the more stimulated to make the attempt by their occa- 
sional incursions into Jersey. In one of these, very lately made, they 
had carried off a number of cattle and about twelve individuals noted 
for their attachment to the American cause. This expedition was 
undertaken with the select troops of his division, aided by a few Jer- 
sey militia, under Colonel Frelinghuysen. 

" They had to march about twenty miles to the place of embarka- 
tion, where only six boats had been procured. Three of these were 
allotted to Colonel Ogden, w r ho commanded one detachment intended to 
attack Colonel Lawrence, who lay near The Old Blazing Star ferry, and 
Colonels Dungan and Allen, who lay about two miles from each other, 
towards Amboy. The other three were taken by General De Borre, 
who was accompanied by Sullivan in person, and who was to attack 
Colonel Barton, near The New Blazing Star ferry, and having secured 
that party, to assist Ogden. General Smallwood was to cross at Hal- 
sey's Point, and attack Buskirk's regiment, which lay near Decker's 
Ferry. All the troops crossed over into the island, before day, without 
being perceived by the enemy. From being misconducted by his 
guides, Smallwood began his attack on a different point from that 
which he intended, in consequence of which the regiment he attacked 
made its escape ; but Ogden and DeBorre succeeded in a very con- 
siderable extent. Lawrence and Barton were completely surprist d ; 
and both of them, with several of their officers and men, were taken. 

" The alarm being given, it was necessary to use the utmost dispatch 
in drawing his forces off the island. It had been impracticable to ob- 
tain a sufficient number of boats to embark them all at the same time ; 
and some confusion appears to have prevailed in this part of the busi- 
ness. General Campbell, with a considerable force advanced upon 
them ; and the rear-guard (about two hundred) after defending them- 
selves for some time with great gallantry, finding the boats could not 
be brought back to take them over the channel, were under the neces- 
sity of surrendering prisoners of war. The enterprise seems to have 
been well planned, and, in its commencement, to have been happily 
executed. Its disastrous conclusion is most probably attributable to 
the want of a sufficient number of boats, without which the expedition 
ought not to have been undertaken." — Life of Washington. 

The loss inflicted and sustained was nearly equal: probably 
about two hundred men were rendered ineffective on either 



side. Sullivan brought away with him from the island 
twenty-eight civilians, in retaliation for similar treatment, as 
above mentioned, towards the friends of independence. 

In his account of the expedition, Mr. Bancroft loses sight 
of the fact, that it was only after his return that he learned 
of the arrival of the British fleet in the Chesapeake ; and 
that, while waiting for orders, it was his duty to omit no 
opportunity to harass the enemy. 

Mr. Irving, in terms alike more generous and truthful, says 
that " Sullivan, while encamped at Hanover, in Jersey, made 
a gallant attempt to surprise and capture a corps of one thou- 
sand Provincials, stationed on Staten Island, at a distance 
from the fortified camp, and opposite the Jersey shore. The 
attempt was partially successful ; a number of the Provincials 
were captured, but the regulars came to the rescue. Sulli- 
van had not brought sufficient boats to secure a retreat. His 
rear-guard was captured while waiting for the return of the 
boats, yet not without a sharp resistance. There was loss on 
both sides; but the Americans suffered most. Congress 
directed Washington to appoint a court of inquiry to inves- 
tigate the matter. In the meantime, Sullivan, whose gallantry 
remained undoubted, continued in command." 

Both Marshall and Irving attribute the want of more com- 
plete success to an insufficient number of boats. But the 
subordinate officers, contrary to the earnest injunctions of 
Sullivan, had allowed men to straggle from their ranks ; and 
a rear-guard was left to collect them, as well as to protect 
the embarkation of the rest. Moreover, Ogclen had taken 
possession of a small vessel, upon which were placed his 
prisoners ; and their red uniforms led the boatmen to suppose 
her an armed vessel of the enemy, and to keep off. 

This was a mischance not to be guarded against, and ought 
not to work to the prejudice of Sullivan. He had taken part 
in an expedition of a similar character, eight months before, 
at Trenton, which had redounded to the honor of all who were 


engaged, proving of infinite advantage to the cause for which 
we were contending. It also bore many points of resemblance 
to his first exploit, the attack on Fort William and Mary, at 
Portsmouth, in December, 1774, — by many considered as the 
earliest hostile proceeding against the Crown. Bunker Hill, 
Dorchester Heights, Trenton, Princeton, Germantown, were 
similar night movements, suggested by opportunity, and de- 
pending on secrecy for success ; and, had this been attended 
with the good fortune reasonably to have been anticipated, it 
would have redounded as much as Trenton to the credit of 
our arms. 

The Court of Inquiry, composed of Generals Stirling, 
MacDougall, and Knox, Colonels Spenser and Clark, held 
Oct. 12, were unanimously of opinion, — 

"That the expedition against the enemy on Staten Island 
was eligible, and promised great advantage to the cause of 
America ; 

" That it was well concerted, and the orders for the execu- 
tion proper ; and would have succeeded, with reputation to 
the general and his troops, had it not in some measure been 
rendered abortive by accidents, which were out of the power 
of the general to foresee or prevent ; 

u That General Sullivan was particularly active in embark- 
ing the troops to the island, and took every precaution in his 
power to bring them off; 

" That he made early provision at Elisabethstown for refresh- 
ing the troops of his division, when they returned to Jersey; 
and, upon the maturest consideration of the evidence in the 
possession of this Court, General Sullivan's conduct, in plan- 
ning and executing the expedition, was such, that, in the 
opinion of this Court, he deserves the approbation of the 
country, and not its censure. 

" The Court, therefore, are unanimously of opinion, that he 
ought to stand honorably acquitted of any unsoldierlike con- 
duct in the expedition to Staten Island." 


This decision was signed by all the members of the Court ; 
and Congress resolved that the result, so honorable to Gen- 
eral Sullivan, was highly pleasing to themselves, and that the 
opinion of the Court should be published in justification of 
that injured officer. 

Mr. Bancroft says, disingenuously, that Sullivan could not, 
in consequence of the descent on Staten Island, obey the 
orders which met him on his return, to join Washington with 
all speed. In a week, he moved three thousand men from 
Hanover to the Elk, — one hundred and thirty miles, proba- 
bly more than less. Howe, with twenty thousand men, had 
effected his landing by the 26th of August, and on the 
11th of September was at Kennett Square, seven miles 
south of the Brandy wine, and thirty south from Philadelphia, 
of which city it was his aim to possess himself. Washington, 
on the north side of the river, with his centre at Chad's Ford, 
on the direct route to the city, had eleven thousand men, 
poorly armed or recent levies. Maxwell commanded the left, 
down the river; Sullivan the right, above, having under him, 
besides his own division, those of Stirling and Stephen, with 
Hazen's regiment stationed three miles higher up. 

Sullivan, in conversation and by letter, had previously 
expressed his opinion to Washington, that Howe, as a sensi- 
ble officer, would cross the river above the forks. Knyphau- 
sen, with half the British army, early in the morning, marched 
towards the river, and engaged Washington's attention with 
his artillery and occasional attacks in force. At the same 
time, he occupied the right bank of the Brandy wine, screen- 
ing from observation the march of Howe and Cornwallis, who, 
at daybreak, had started up the Lancaster road. The morn- 
ing was foggy ; and their march, from six to ten miles from 
the river, lay through thick woods and uneven ground, well 
guarded on their flanks. Sullivan had but four horsemen, 
two of whom were needed to keep up communication with 
headquarters, two miles below, and three-quarters of a mile 


from Chad's Ford. It was difficult, therefore, to ascertain 
the movement of the hostile forces ; and Washington re- 
mained several hours in suspense. 

In a foot-note on page 395 of Mr. Bancroft's volume, 
Sparks's " Washington" (vol. v. p. 109) is cited to prove that 
the responsibility devolved exclusively on Sullivan to obtain 
intelligence ; and it purports, that the letter cited corrects a 
misstatement of his on that point. The candid reader, on 
reference to that authority, will find that the letter, on the 
contrary, confirms his statement, and that it was alike the 
constant effort of both Washington and Sullivan, that anxious 
morning, to obtain intelligence ; and what was actually brought 
to them was as full and frequent as circumstances could have 
warranted them to expect. 

Towards noon came an express from Sullivan to head- 
quarters, that Howe, with a large body of troops and a park 
of artillery, was pushing up the Lancaster road. Washing- 
ton ordered Sullivan to cross the Brandywine at Brenton's 
Eord, near which he was stationed, and to attack the British 
left. While preparing, in obedience to these orders, to cross 
the river, Major Spear * came in and informed him, that he 
had just come down from the Lancaster road, and the country 
where the British should have been, if coming round by the 
upper fords, and that they were nowhere to be seen. Sulli- 
van thought Spear must be mistaken, but felt bound to trans- 
mit this with all speed to headquarters, as Washington said, 
in the sequel, he was perfectly right in doing. The move- 
ment might well have been a feint to lure us to meet the 
whole British army. That Washington so reasoned, is plain 
from the fact, that he did not send back immediate word, as 
he might have done in twenty minutes, to cross notwithstand- 
ing. One hour at least passed on unimproved by Washington, 
while awaiting more positive information, when Cheyney 
came in to confirm the earlier intelligence. 

* Most of the authorities write Spear ; one of the later (Irving) Spicer. 


It seems reasonable to believe that the information of 
Colonel Ross and Colonel Bland, that Howe had marched 
towards the forks, reached Washington soon after eleven. 
His order to Sullivan to cross was not later than half-past. 
By twelve, the reports of Major Spear and Sergeant Tucker, 
that the earlier intelligence was a mistake, were forwarded ; 
and by one, certainly, orders could have been sent to Sullivan 
still to cross, had Washington deemed it advisable. It was 
after two when the fact became known to Washington, that 
the British army was actually coming down the left bank 
of the Brandywine. Ill-natured historians, eager to find 
fault, overlook completely the fact, that Colonel Hazen, who 
with his regiment was stationed three miles above Sullivan, 
up the river, was the person mainly relied upon for knowledge 
of any movement of the enemy in that direction. 

As the proposed movement w r as based on information pre- 
viously communicated, in reality correct, but now contra- 
dicted on authority equally entitled to respect, Sullivan would 
have been deservedly blamed if he had hesitated to transmit 
it, and the army had crossed to encounter the whole British 
force, double its numbers, with a river but partially fordable 
in its rear, and, as inevitably would have been the case un- 
less by a miracle, been defeated. 

Reasoning from the facts, as in reality they were, if Sulli- 
van had crossed, and with Washington attacked Knyphausen, 
the force left at Kennett Square was nearly equal to what 
would have been engaged against it ; and the contest could 
easily have been prolonged until Howe had reached our rear 
and enveloped us. It is useless to conjecture probabilities, 
except so far as they bear upon the claim to credit for pru- 
dence and military sagacity of those who no doubt took them 
into account in forming their conclusions. But it would 
seem that a kind Providence saved us on that day from a ter- 
rible blander, if not the loss of our cause, by keeping us on 
the left bank of the Brandywine. We fought because public 


opinion demanded it. It would have been a folly, with such 
odds, to have expected a yictory. The resistance made, 
although resulting in retreat, was still a step in advance 
towards independence. 

What followed we give in Sullivan's own language, in a 
letter which we claim to be the best evidence as to the facts 
related, because proceeding from him who had the best op- 
portunity of knowing the truth ; whose character for honor 
cannot be impeached ; and where deception, had he been dis- 
posed to deceive, would have been impossible, from the whole 
army of witnesses to whom the incidents of the battle were 
perfectly familiar. We feel assured that no candid or com- 
petent judge, after reading it, will remain of the opinion, 
either that Sullivan made too wide a circuit, had any question 
of etiquette with Stirling or Stephen as to the post of honor, 
moved his division from half a mile to the left to their right, 
or that he was otherwise than worthy of all respect for his 
military capacity, and his natural and acquired qualifications 
as a general officer and commander, in critical moments re- 
quiring coolness and judgment. If we had many better 
officers than Sullivan, the standard in our Revolutionary 
struggle was a most unusual one. 

The letter to which reference has been made is the follow- 

Camp on Perkiomy, Sept. 27, 1777. 
Much Esteemed Sir, — I have long been soliciting for a court of 
inquiry into my conduct in the expedition against Staten Island. I had 
applied to the commander-in-chief for one before. I know Congress 
had ordered it ; but such has been the state of our arms, that I have 
not been able to obtain one, and know not when I shall have it in my 
power. I however take the freedom to transmit Congress copies of the 
testimonies I mean to lay before the court, which I beg Congress to 
peruse ; and they can be at no loss what must be the result of an impar- 
tial court. I am, however, happy in the assurance, that the evidence 
will remove every suspicion from the minds of the members of Con- 


gress, and from the court, if ever I should be so happy as to obtain one ; 
and I shall take the proper steps to remove the effects from the minds 
of Americans at large. I was ever at a loss to find what great evil 
happened from this expedition, unless a spirit of enterprise is deemed 
a fault ; if so, I think it will need but few resolves of Congress to destroy 
what remains of it in our army. 

In this expedition, we landed on an island possessed by the enemy ; 
put to rout six regiments ; killed, wounded, and made prisoners at least 
four or five hundred of the enemy ; * vanquished every party that col- 
lected against us ; destroyed them great quantities of stores ; took one 
vessel and destroyed six ; took a considerable number of arms, blank- 
ets, many cattle, horses, &c. ; marched victorious through the island ; 
and, in the whole course of the day, lost not more than one hundred 
and fifty men, most of which were lost by the imprudence of them- 
selves and officers. Some few, indeed, were lost by cross accidents, 
which no human foresight could have prevented. 

Whether Congress will take any steps against persons who have 
thus scandalously imposed their falsehoods upon them, I shall not 
inquire. I find it necessary for me to take the proper steps to do 
myself justice, which I know the impartial part of mankind will justify. 
I was still more astonished to find, that, upon the vague report of a 
single person, who pretends to know all about the late battle of Brandy- 
wine, though I am confident he saw but little of it, Congress should 
suddenly pass a resolve, to suspend me from the service, which resolve 
was afterwards rescinded. If the reputation of general officers is 
thus to be sported with, upon every vague and idle report, those who 
set less by their reputation than myself must continue in the service. 
Nothing can be more mortifying to a man who is conscious of having 
done every thing in his power for the good of his country, — has wasted 
his strength, and often exposed his life, in the service of it, than to 

* There is no mof e frequent subject of dispute in history than regarding the number 
of combatants, the dead, wounded, or missing. Returns are rarely exact; and, except 
in rare instances, where system is unusually thorough, much is left to conjecture. It 
was a part of even Washington's policy, full of truth and honor as he was, to mis- 
lead the enemy; and the British officers frequently under or over-stated, either from 
design or mistake. If this number seems large, it is quite as likely to be exact as what 
was stated by the enemy disposed to conceal the extent of their loss, or of persons, 
from malevolent motives, eager to depreciate the results. Of course in this number are 
ncluded the prisoners of Ogden, who, if we may judge from his own correspondence, 
was not in an independent command, as stated by Bancroft, but formed part of that of 
General Sullivan. 


find the representatives thereof, instead of bestowing on him the re- 
ward of his services, loading him with blame, infamy, and reproach, 
upon the false representations of a single person, who felt as little of 
the severity of the engagement, as he knows about the disposition 
of our troops or that of the enemy. 

I enclose Congress the testimony of those brave and experienced 
officers, who with me endured the hottest of the enemy's fire. 

I have never endeavored to establish my reputation by my own 
pen ; nor have I, according to the modern custom, employed others for 
the purpose ; neither have I adopted the still more infamous method, 
of raising my own reputation by destroying that of others. I have 
always contented myself w T ith a consciousness of having done my duty 
w 7 ith faithfulness ; but, being constrained to say something at this time 
respecting the late battle and some other matters, I hope Congress 
will look upon it rather as the effect of necessity, than any desire of 
making a merit of my services. 

I never yet have pretended that my disposition in the late battle 
was perfect; I knew it was very far from it : but this I will venture to 
affirm, that it was the best which time would allow me to make. At half- 
past two, I received orders to march with my division, — to join with, 
and take command of, that and two others to oppose the enemy, who 
•were coming down on the right flank of our army. I neither knew 
where the enemy were, nor what route the other two divisions were to 
take, and of course could not determine where I should form a junc- 
tion with them. I began my march in a few minutes after I received 
my orders, and had not marched a mile when I met Colonel Hazen and 
his regiment, which had been stationed at a ford three miles above 
me, who informed that the enemy were close upon his heels, and that I 
might depend that the principal part of the British army were there ; 
although I knew the report sent to headquarters made them but two 
brigades. As I knew Colonel Hazen to be an old officer and a good 
judge of numbers, I gave credence to his report, in preference to the 
intelligence before received. While I was conversing with Colonel 
Hazen, and our troops still upon the march, the enemy headed us in the 
road, about forty rods from our advanced guard. I then found it neces- 
sary to turn off to the right to form, and so got nearer to the other two 
divisions, which I at that moment discovered drawn up on an emi- 
nence, both in the rear and to the right of the place I then was at. I 
ordered Colonel Hazen's regiment to pass a hollow way, file off to the 
right, and face, to cover the artillery. The enemy, seeing this, did not 



press on, but gave me time to form my division on an advantageous 
height, in a line with the other divisions, but almost half a mile to the 

I then rode on to consult the other general officers, who, upon 
receiving information that the enemy were endeavoring to outtiank us 
on the right, were unanimously of opinion, that my division should be 
brought on to join the others, and that the whole should incline further 
to the right, to prevent our being outflanked ; but while my division 
was marching on, and before it was possible for them to form to ad- 
vantage, the enemy pressed on with rapidity and attacked them, which 
threw them into some kind of confusion. I had taken post myself in 
the centre, with the artillery, and ordered it to play briskly to stop the 
progress of the enemy, and to give the broken troops time to rally and 
form in the rear of where I was with the artillery. I sent off four 
aide-de-camps for this purpose, and went myself; but all in vain. No 
sooner did I form one party, but that which I had before formed ran 
off, and even at times when I, though on horseback and in front of 
them, apprehended no danger. I then left them to be rallied by their own 
officers and my aide-de-camps ; I repaired to the hill where our artil- 
lery was, which by this time began to feel the effects of the enemy's fire. 

This hill commanded both the right and left of our line, and, if 
carried by the enemy, I knew would instantly bring on a total rout, 
and make a retreat very difficult. I therefore determined to hold it 
as long as possible, to give . Lord Stirling's and General Stephen's 
divisions, which yet stood firm, as much assistance from the artillery as 
possible, and to give Colonel Hazen's, Dayton's, and Ogden's regiments, 
which still stood firm on our left, the same advantage, and to cover the 
broken troops of my division, and to give them an opportunity to rally, 
and come to our assistance, which some of them did, and others could 
not by their officers be brought to do any thing but fly. The enemy 
soon began to bend their principal force against the hill, and the fire 
w r as close and heavy for a lon^ time, and soon became general. Lord 
Stirling and General Conway, with their aide-de-camps, were w T ith me 
on the hill, and exerted themselves beyond description to keep up the 
troops. Five times did the enemy drive our troops from the hill, and 
as often was it regained, and the summit often disputed almost muzzle 
to muzzle. How far I had a hand in this, and whether I endured the 
hottest of the enemy's fire, I cheerfully submit to the gentlemen who 
were with me. The general fire of the line lasted an hour and forty 
minutes ; fifty-one minutes of which the hill was disputed almost muz- 


zle to muzzle, in such a manner, that General Conway, who has seen 
much service, says he never saw so close and severe a fire. On the 
right where General Stephen was, it was long and severe, and on 
the left considerable. When we found the right and left oppressed 
by numbers and giving way on all quarters, we were obliged to aban- 
don the hill we had so long contended for, but not till we had almost 
covered the ground between that and Birmingham meeting-house, 
with the dead bodies of the enemy.* When I found that victory was 
on the side of the enemy, I thought it my duty to prevent, as much 
as possible, the injurious consequences of a defeat; for which purpose 
I rallied my troops on every advantageous piece of ground, to retard 
their pursuit and give them fresh opposition. How far I exerted 
myself in this, Congress w T ill readily see by consulting the enclosed 
testimonies ; and that the last parties I assisted to rally and post 
against them were between sunset and dark. By this means the 
enemy were so much fatigued, that they suffered our wmole army, 
with their artillery, baggage, &c, to pass off without molestation, and 
without attempting to pursue us a step. 

I wish Congress to consider the many disadvantages I labored 
under on that day. It is necessary, in every action, that the command- 
ing officer should have a perfect knowledge of the number and situa- 
tion of the enemy, the route they are pursuing, the ground he is to 
draw up his troops on, as well as that where the enemy are formed, 
and that he have sufficient time to view and examine the position of 
the enemy, and to draw up his troops in such a manner as to coun- 
teract their design ; all of which were wanting. We had intelligence 
only of two brigades coming against us, when in fact it was the whole 
strength of the British army, commanded by General Howe and Lord 
Cornwallis. They met us unexpectedly, and in order of battle, and 
attacked us before we had time to form, and upon ground we had 
never before seen. Under those disadvantages, and against those 
unequal numbers, we maintained our ground an hour and forty 
minutes ; and, by giving fresh opposition on every ground that would 
admit, we kept them at bay from three o'clock until after sunset. 
What more would have been expected from between three and four 
thousand troops against the chief part of the British army ? 

* Bolls of the loss of the enemy at Brandywine were captured at Germantown, 
and the total is set down as about two thousand. More than half of their loss, no 
doubt, was during the battle at Birmingham meeting-house. 


I now beg Congress to consider whether my services, in political 
and military life, have deserved so ill as to render me liable, upon 
vague reports and private opinions, to have my character stigmatized 
by resolves against me. Though I have never yet wrote, or said any 
thing in favor of myself, I am compelled at once to alter my conduct. 
My political character is well known in most parts of America, and 
the part I have taken in the present dispute. I am exceeding happy, 
that, in the military line, I have witnesses of all my conduct. Let the 
commander-in-chief declare who it was that supplied cannon, arms, 
and ammunition to the army, when they were almost destitute at 
Cambridge, and who brought the troops to guard the lines, when they 
were almost deserted ; and who, by his influence, prevailed upon them 
to tarry six weeks after their time was expired. To the officers I had 
the honor to command on, Winter Hill, I appeal whether I was not the 
means of inducing their men to enlist for the second campaign, and 
whether, during the whole time I was there, I did not cheerfully brave 
every danger that could arise from the severe cannonade and bombard- 
ment of the enemy. To the officers of the Canada army, let me appeal 
for the truth of my having found, on my arrival in that quarter, a most 
miserable army, flying off by hundreds and leaving behind them all their 
sick, and all the public stores which had been sent into that quarter. 
Those I speedily collected, and, having joined my other forces, made an 
effort to penetrate into the country ; but the unfortunate arrival of ten 
thousand British troops put it out of my power. I had then to make 
a retreat with five thousand sick, and two thousand two hundred and 
fifty well men, and to secure the public stores scattered throughout the 
country. This was done in the face of a veteran army, commanded 
by a brave and experienced officer. The sick and the public stores 
were not only saved, but the mills, timber, and boards were destroyed, 
which prevented the enemy from reducing Ticonderoga to the same un- 
happy situation the last year which they have done this. How far I 
was active in conducting this retreat, which even our enemies have 
applauded, let the address of the worthy officers in that army, pre- 
sented at my departure from them, declare. In the attack upon Tren- 
ton, in December last, I appeal to all the officers in the three brigades 
commanded by Generals St. Clair, Glover, and Commandant Sergeant, 
whether I did not enter the town, at the head of my troops, and 
whether my disposition was not the most perfect that could be devised 
for carrying the town and preventing escapes, and whether, with 
my division, I did not carry the town before we received any assist. 


ance. To the commander-in-chief, and to the same officers, I again 
appeal, whether I did not by my influence prevail on those troops to 
tarry six weeks after the first day of January, which in my opinion 
went far towards saving America ; * and whether, at the attack on 
Princeton, I was not in the front of my line when the enemy began 
their fire upon us. and whether they ever saw me in the least endeavor 
to screen myself from the enemy's fire. For the battle of Long Island, I 
appeal to Major Willis and the other officers who were with me, whether 
any person could have exposed himself more, or made a longer resist- 
ance with such an handful of men, against so great an army. 

It is an observation of one of the wisest of men, that no person 
can stand before envy ; and I am determined not to make the rash at- 
tempt. My reputation and my freedom I hold dear. But, if I lose the 
former, the latter becomes of no importance. I therefore, rather than 
run the venture to combat against the envy of some malicious officers 
in the army, when cherished and supported by the influence of their 
too credulous correspondents in Congress, must, as soon as the court 
of inquiry have sat, and given their opinion, beg leave to retire from 
the army, while my reputation is secure. This will afford me an oppor- 
tunity of doing justice to my reputation, and laying my conduct, with 
the evidence of it, before the public ; and enable me to take the proper 
steps against those, who, without cause or foundation, have endeavored 
to ruin one, who has ever shown himself one of the warmest friends to 
American freedom. I beg Congress will not suppose this to proceed 
from disaffection, but from necessity ; that I may quit a place where I 
have more to fear, than I could have from the most powerful enemy. 
If Congress grants me liberty to retire. I shall give in my resignation 
to the commander-in-chief, when the court of inquiry have sat, and 
given their judgment, and if it is against me, when a court-martial 
gives a final judgment, unless that should likewise be against me. But 
I cannot think that Congress, after examining the evidences, will be at 
a loss to know what the result of either court must be. 

Dear Sir, I have the honor to be, wirh much respect, 

Your Excellency's most obedient servant, 

John Sullivax. 

His Excellency Johs Haxcock, Esq. 

* It was undoubtedly owing, in a great degree, to the exertions of Sullivan and 
Stark, that a re-enli>tment of the troops was effected at this perilous juncture. — See 
Collections fur 1522, p. 100. 


Stephen exposed himself, that day, to reproach for unofficer- 
like conduct. De Borre, somewhat ignorant of our language, 
was obstinate, disobeyed orders, and, shortly afterwarwards, 
was court-martialled and resigned. 

Sullivan, in defending himself from the charges of Burke, 
— a civilian and member of Congress, who rode out to see 
the fight, — criminates no one of his subordinates, but is gen- 
erous to all of them, as he is, afterwards, just and discrimina- 
ting in describing the battle for the public press. It seems 
difficult to understand, if any remark ever fell from his lips 
to which the wildest interpretation could attach the idea of 
jealousy or etiquette as to position, how any such could have 
entered his mind. He was commanding the whole right wing, 
and both Sterling and Stephen were his subordinates ; while 
De Borre commanded the right brigade in his own division. 
How could it possibly have added to his dignity or respon- 
sibility or consequence, that his division should have been 
posted on the right. His words seem unmistakable, that, in 
moving to the right and rear, they were closing up to Stephen, 
when De Borre's brigade broke. 

To be held in any degree, however, unjustly responsible 
for the disasters of the day, was intolerable to one so sensitive 
as himself; and the following letter to Mr. John Adams ex- 
presses his distress under the imputation : — 

To John Adams. 

Camp on Perkiomy, Sept. 28, 1777. 

Dear Sir, — Far from addressing you in the language of friendship, 
and desiring your assistance as a friend, I call upon you as a friend to just- 
ice and mankind, begging you to acquaint yourself, and make Congress 
acquainted, with the evidence I have enclosed the President, relative to 
my conduct. They ought to take time to view, examine, and consider 
it. They have censured and condemned me without evidence ; will 
they not acquit me upon the clearest testimony ? The greatest and the 
only favor I request from you is, that if, by the evidence, there appears 
the least fault in my conduct, you will join with the rest against me, to 
complete that ruin which some members of Congress have long been 


striving to bring about ; but if, on the contrary, you find that it is the 
person who has silently borne the burthen of the war, has endured the 
hottest of almost every fire, and braved every danger for his country's 
good, that Congress has been censuring and resolving against, then, 
Sir, call upon Congress to do me justice, and restore me that reputation 
which they have in some degree deprived me of. Should I fail in this, 
I am determined to quit the service, and employ my tongue, my pen, 
and every other engine that may be found necessary, to save my repu- 
tation. I am now fortifying myself for the purpose. I am well known 
in America, and exceeding well in the army. The officers who have 
served with me are worthy, as they are numerous. They will, they 
must, join with me to exclaim against unjust and ungenerous returns for 
faithful and laborious service, let them proceed from what quarter they 
will. !No wall can be so sacred as to screen from public censure the 
persons who, from private views, would ruin the reputation of the 
faithful patriot and the brave soldier. It is the dignity of America, 
not the dignity of Congress, we are fighting to support. Treat us 
justly, reward us for our services, and don't let our characters suffer 
from every idle report. Pray examine the evidence I have sent to the 
President, and then determine, with your usual candor; whether the 
resolves against me were not premature ; whether I have not a right 
to complain ; and whether Congress ought not, in justice, to restore me 
that reputation which they have deprived me of. Why am I singled 
out as the only person for a court of inquiry, and by a resolve, after- 
wards rescinded, to be suspended from the service. A fleet was lost 
on Champlain Lake, the army in Canada ruined, Fort Washington 
and Fort Lee sacrificed : no courts of inquiry were thought necessary. 
General Parsons made an attempt on Long Island the same day I w r ent 
to Staten Island. He had only one regiment to contend with ; no re-en- 
forcements could possibly come against him : yet he was repulsed, with 
loss. I had many regiments to contend with ; routed all I came across ; 
did them much mischief. Yet no court of inquiry is ordered upon 
him. I am the butt against which all the darts are levelled. How does 
this read? How will it sound when ringing in the public ear? But 
forgive me for this warmth. I know that, as a friend, you will make 
the proper allowances for my feeling. I rely upon your exertions to 
bring Congress to do justice to your much injured friend and humble 
servant, Jn° Sullivan. 

Hon. Jno Adams, Eiq r . 


Congress, who had for a moment hearkened to Burke, one 
of its members, who professed to have been an eye-witness 
of what occurred on the battlefield, immediately rescinded 
their resolve by an overwhelming vote, one member from 
Delaware alone siding with Burke. His aspersions, as we 
hope those of Mr. Bancroft now, if fame be worth the having, 
will be of service rather than injury to the reputation of 
General Sullivan, calling attention to what can well stand the 
test. We select from the numberless letters of his brother 
officers, including nearly all those who served under him, 
the following, which are certainly better to be believed than 
Mr. Bancroft. 

Oct. 20, 1777. 
Since the battle of Brandywine, I have been sorry to hear illiberal 
complaints thrown out against the conduct of Major-General Sullivan. 
As I was present during the whole action, and obliged, from my situa- 
tion with Lord Stirling, to be near General Sullivan, I had an oppor- 
tunity of observing such examples of courage as could not escape the 
attention of any one. I can declare that his uniform bravery, cool- 
ness, and intrepidity, both in the heat of battle, and in rallying and 
forming the troops when broke from their ranks, appeared to me to be 
truly consistent with, or rather exceeded, any idea I had ever had of 
the greatest soldier. Enos Edwards, 

Aide to Lord Stirling. 

The notes of Lafayette, Hamilton, and Laurens are equally 
explicit as to his generalship in the battle ; and the following 
from Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, afterwards candidate for 
the Presidency of the United States, that, in posting Weedon's 
brigade, and in resisting the enemy till dark, he did quite his 
part in the preservation of the American army : — 

Camp near Potsgrove, Sept. 24, 1777. 
In compliance with the request of General Sullivan, that I would 
mention what I saw of his behavior at the action of Brandywine, 
on the 11th of this month, I declare, when I saw him in the engage- 
ment, which was in the evening, about the time that General Wee- 
don's brigade was brought up to the right, he appeared to me to 


behave with the greatest calmness and bravery; and at that time 
I had occasion to observe his behavior, as I was then with General 
Washington, and heard General Sullivan tell him that all the superior 
officers of his division had behaved exceedingly well, and, after some 
other conversation with the general, General Sullivan, turning to me, 
requested I would ride up to General Weedon, and desire him to halt 
Colonel Spottswood's and Colonel Stephen's regiments in the ploughed 
field, on our right, and form them there, which I did ; and on my 
return I was informed that General Sullivan, while I was delivering 
his orders, had his horse shot under him. 

Charles Cotesworth Pincknet, 

Colonel of the First Continental Regiment of South Carolina. 

Five days after the battle, Washington again sought an 
engagement at Goshen ; but, a storm of two days' continu- 
ance spoiling his ammunition, he was compelled to withdraw 
for a fresh supply, and Howe entered Philadelphia. There 
being no suitable accommodation within the city, the British 
general posted his forces at Germantown, about six miles out. 
Washington determining to assail them on the first oppor- 
tunity, submitted the proposition to his generals, who, with 
few exceptions, advised delay until they had been strength- 
ened by re-enforcements expected shortly from the North. 
When, soon after, intelligence was received that Howe had 
weakened his army by a strong detachment to Billingsport, 
Washington concluded upon action. At noon, on the third 
of October, he issued his orders ; and, at nine that evening, 
the troops left Matuchen Hills, on the Skippack, for a night 
march of fourteen miles. At baybreak the next morning, 
the right wing, commanded by Sullivan, came into collision 
with the advanced posts of the British at Chestnut Hill, 
about two miles north of the village of Germantown. 

The following letter to President Weare from Sullivan, 

dated Oct. 25, 1777, from the camp at Whitemarsh, gives the 

particulars of the fight : — 



General Sullivan's Letter to the President of New Hampshire. 

Camp at Whitemarsh, Oct. 25, K77. 

Sir, — I hope the constant movements of our army, since the battle 
of Germantown, will apologize for my not having before given you a 
particular account of this unsuccessful affair. Upon receiving intelli- 
gence that part of the enemy's force was detached for particular pur- 
poses, and that their main army lay encamped, with their left wing on 
the west side of the road leading through Germantown, flanked by the 
Hessian forces, who were encamped on the Schuylkill, and their right 
on the east side of the road extending to a wood about one mile from 
the town, with their light infantry encamped in a line in their front, 
within less than a quarter of a mile of their picket at Mount Airy, — 
upon this intelligence, it was agreed in council that we should march 
the night of the 3d instant, and attack the enemy in the following 
manner : — 

My own and Wayne's divisions were to compose the right wing, 
which I had the honor to command. This wing was to be sustained 
by the corps of reserve, composed of Nash's and Maxwell's brigades, 
commanded by Major-general Lord Stirling. The right wing was to 
be flanked by Conway's brigade, which led the column. The whole of 
these marched down the Skippack road, leading over Chesnut Hill 
into Germantown. • General Armstrong, with about one thousand 
Pennsylvania militia, was to pass down the road which runs near the 
Schuylkill, and attack the Hessians, who covered the enemy's left 
flank. The left wing was composed of Greene's and Stephen's divi- 
sions, commanded by Major-general Greene, who were to march down 
the York road and attack the enemy's right, while the troops I had the 
honor to command attacked their left. General McDou gal's brigade 
was to attack their right flank, and Smallwood's division and Forman's 
brigade of militia were to make a larger circuit, and attack the rear of 
their right wing. The reason of our sending so many troops to attack 
their right was because it was supposed, that, if this wing of the enemy 
could be forced, their army must be pushed into the Schuylkill or be 
compelled to surrender. Therefore two-thirds of the army, at least, 
were detached to oppose the enemy's right. 

The attack was to begin on all quarters at daybreak. Our army 
left their encampment at Matuchen Hills at nine in the evening, 
marched all night, and at daybreak the right wing arrived on Chesnut 
Hill, when one regiment from Conway's brigade, and one from the 


Second Maryland brigade, were detached to Mount Airy, followed by 
Conway's brigade, to attack the enemy's picket at Allen's house. My, 
own division followed in the rear of Conway's, and Wayne's division 
in the rear of mine. The picket was soon attacked, and suddenly re-en- 
forced by all their light infantry. This compelled General Conway to 
form his brigade to sustain the attacking regiments and to repulse the 
light infantry. They maintained their ground with great resolution, 
till my division was formed to support them. The enemy endeavoring 
to flank us on the left, I ordered Colonel Ford's regiment to the other 
side of the road to repulse them, till General Wayne's division ar- 
rived ; and upon finding that our left wing, which had near four miles 
farther to march than the right, had not arrived, I was obliged to form 
General Wayne's division on the east of the road, to attack the enemy's 
right. I then directed General Conway to draw otf such part of his 
brigade as was formed in the road and in front of our right, and 
to fall into my rear, and file off to the right to flank my division ; 
but, the morning being too dark to discover the enemy's movements, 
and no evidence being given of General Armstrong's arrival, I was 
obliged to send a regiment from Wayne's, and another from my own 
division, to keep the enemy from turning our right. I also detached 
Colonel Moylan's regiment of light horse to watch their motions in 
that quarter. 

This being done, my division were ordered to advance ; which they 
did with such resolution, that the enemy's light infantry were soon 
compelled to leave the field, and with it their encampments. They, 
however, made a stand at every fence, wall, and ditch they passed, 
which were numerous. We were compelled to remove every fence as 
we passed, which delayed us much in the pursuit. We were soon after 
met by the left wing of the British army, when a severe conflict en- 
sued ; but, our men being ordered to march up with shouldered arms, 
they obeyed without hesitation, and the enemy retired. I then detached 
my aide-de-camp, Major Morris, to inform his Excellency, who was in 
the main road, that the enemy's left wing had given way, and to desire 
him to order General Wayne to advance against their right. His 
Excellency immediately detached part of the residue on my right and 
part on the left of the road, and directed Wayne's division to advance, 
which they did with great bravery and rapidity. 

At Chew's house, a mile and a half from where the attack began, 
Wayne's division came abreast with mine, and passed Chew's house, 
while mine were advancing on the other side of the main road. 


Though the enemy were routed, yet they took advantage of every 
yard, house, and hedge in their retreat, which caused an incessant fire 
through the whole pursuit. At this time, which was near an hour and 
a quarter after the attack began, General Stephen's division fell in 
with Wayne's on our left, and, soon after, the firing from General 
Greene's was heard still farther to the left. The left wing of our 
army was delayed much by General Greene's being obliged to counter- 
march one of his divisions before he could begin the attack, as he 
found the enemy were in a situation very different from what we had 
been before told. The enemy had thrown a large body of troops into 
Chew's house, which caused Maxwell's brigade to halt there with some 
artillery to reduce them. This was found very difficult, as the house, 
being stone, was almost impenetrable by cannon, and sufficient proof 
against musketry. The enemy defended themselves with great bra- 
very, and annoyed our troops much by their fire. This, unfortunately, 
caused many of our troops to halt, and brought back General Wayne's 
division, who had advanced far beyond the house, as they were appre- 
hensive lest the firing proceeded from the enemy's having defeated 
my division on the right. This totally uncovered the left flank of my 
division, which was still advancing against the enemy's left. The 
firing of General Greene's division was very heavy for more than a 
quarter of an hour, but then decreased, and seemed to draw farther 
from us. I am not sufficiently acquainted with the facts to determine 
with precision what was done in that quarter. A regiment commanded 
by Colonel Matthews advanced with rapidity near the town ; but, not 
being supported by some other regiments, who . were stopped by a 
breastwork near Lucan's mills, the brave colonel, after having per- 
formed great feats of bravery, and being dangerously wounded in 
several places, was obliged, with about a hundred- of his men, to sur- 

My division, with a regiment of North Carolinians commanded by 
Colonel Armstrong, and assisted by part of Conway's brigade, having 
driven the enemy a mile and a half below Chew's house, and finding 
themselves unsupported by any other troops, their cartridges all ex- 
pended, the force of the enemy on the right collecting to the left to 
oppose them, being alarmed by the firing at Chew's house so far in their 
rear, and by the cry of a light-horseman on the right, that the enemy 
had got round us, and at the same time discovering some troops flying 
on our right, retired with as much precipitation as they had before 
advanced, against every effort of their officers to rally them. When 


the retreat took place, they had been engaged near three hours, which, 
with the march of the preceding night, rendered them almost unfit for 
fighting or retreating. We, however, made a safe retreat, though not 
a regular one ; we brought off all our cannon and all our wounded. 
Our loss in the action amounts to less than seven hundred, mostly 
wounded. We lost some valuable officers, among whom were the 
brave General Nash and my two aides-de-camp, Majors Sherburne 
and White, whose singular bravery must ever do honor to their memo- 
ries. Our army rendezvoused at Pawling's mills, and seems very 
desirous of another action. The misfortunes of this day were princi- 
pally owing to a thick fog, which, being rendered still more so by the 
smoke of the cannon and musketry, prevented our troops from discover- 
ing the motions of the enemy or acting in concert with each other. I 
cannot help observing, that, with great concern, I saw our brave com- 
mander exposing himself to the hottest fire of the enemy, in such 
a manner, that regard to my country obliged me to ride to him, and 
beg him to retire. He, to gratify me and some others, withdrew a 
small distance ; but his anxiety for the fate of the day soon brought 
him up again, where he remained till our troops had retreated. 

I am, &c, John Sullivan. 

To the Hon. the President of New Hampshire. 

The battle, which lasted three hours, was, where Sullivan 
commanded on the right wing, a complete success. It was 
already decided in their favor ; a portion of the enemy had 
actually crossed the river in retreat ; when a panic, from 
several causes, took possession first of Wayne's men, and 
then others of the right wing, baffling every effort of their 
officers to rally them. Washington had been persuaded by 
Knox to reduce the stone house of Chief Justice Chew, occu- 
pied by Colonel Marsgrave and six companies of the British 
Fortieth ; and a parley was sounded, summoning them to 
surrender. This was mistaken for a signal to retreat ; a fog, 
dense with the smoke of the battle, prevented perfect concert 
of action ; and a regiment, led by an inexperienced colonel, 
exhausted, unseasonably, its powder. These causes occa- 
sioned confusion; but the retreat was effected with little 
loss. The enterprise was well planned and executed, and 


inflicted a heavy blow on the enemy, raising in public estima- 
tion the character of our troops, — so soon after defeat, in 
condition to encounter their enemies. 

Washington, in his report to Congress, says, " In justice to 
General Sullivan and the whole right wing of the army, whose 
conduct I had an opportunity of observing, as they acted im- 
mediately under my eye, I have the pleasure to inform you, 
that both officers and men behaved with a degree of gallantry 
that did them the highest honor." Mr. Bancroft, with the 
same ungenerous prejudice exhibited earlier, ascribes no 
merit to Sullivan, but cites a letter of General Armstrong to 
sustain a statement as to his needless waste of powder, which 
the letter itself fails to confirm. 

After other unsuccessful efforts to bring the enemy to a 
conflict, in December, 1777, the American army — a large 
portion of it barefooted and without blankets — went into 
winter-quarters at Valley Forge, where Sullivan remained, 
busily engaged in superintending the construction of bridges 
and in other duties, till March, 1778, when he was ordered to 
take the command in Rhode Island. 

Mr. Bancroft charges him, as a fault, with recommending 
the appointment of Conway as adjutant-general, and with 
being on both sides in the cabal which aimed to displace 
Washington by Gates. Conway had been under his command ; 
was a brave officer who had seen much service ; and, among 
the Sullivan papers is a virtual denial, under his signature, 
of ever having written to Gates the offensive passage quoted 
by Bancroft, which gave displeasure. Sullivan's own corres- 
pondence conclusively proves that he had never faltered in his 
loyaltyto Washington ; but it would have been highly prejudi- 
cial to the cause for which they were all contending, had he 
taken sides against Gates, who was then the President of the 
Board of War.* 

* Letter to Adams, and following declaration of Conway : — 

I declare that at WhitemarBh Camp, I think one or two days before my departure, I met with 


In February he requested permission to visit his home, 
while the army remained inactive in winter-quarters ; and 
states that his daily pay of fifteen shillings and eightpence, 
in the reduced currency, provided for a very inconsiderable 
part of his expenses. He had depended, throughout the war, 
on his private resources ; and his available means had become 
exhausted. At Long Island, New York, New Rochelle, and 
Peekskill, his personal effects had been captured ; and it was 
only by returning to New Hampshire that he could procure 
what was indispensable for his most pressing wants. 

"When the French alliance, following Burgoyne's surrender, 
led to co-operation, a combined attack by the French fleet 
under D'Estaing, and an army under Sullivan, was concerted 
against Newport, then defended by six thousand men. 

Sullivan, by collecting the militia and volunteers from the 
neighboring States, had, for a short time, under his command, 
a force of ten thousand men, only fifteen hundred of whom had 
had any experience in war. As they approached, the British 
withdrew from the upper part of the island, within their lines, 
three miles from the town; and Sullivan crossed on to the 
island. It had been arranged that the French should land first, 
in the expectation their landing would be contested. When 
the British withdrew, this precedence ceased to have any sig- 
nificance ; Sullivan improving time, which was important, and 
opportunity, which might have been lost had the enemy re- 
turned to dispute the landing, crossed; and D'Estaing was, 
without reason, offended. 

A gale of unusual severity, of three days' duration, drove 

General Wilkinson at Colonel Biddle's quarters ; that, having called General Wilkinson to an upper 
room. I asked him if he had knowledge I had written to General Gates the preceding month, ypon 
his answer in the affirmative, I asked him if he remembered to have read in it the following para, 
graph : — 

M Heaven has determined to save this country, or a weak general and bad counsellors would 
have ruined it." 

General Wilkinson assured me that such a paragraph was not in my letter. 
3d January, 1778. Thomas Conway. 


off the fleet of the allies, who, after a partial engagement 
with the British squadron under Lord Howe, sailed to Bos- 
ton to refit.* Several thousands of the volunteers, dis- 
heartened by this seeming defection, and by exposure to cold 
and wet and hardships to which they were wholly unaccus- 
tomed, went home. Sullivan, with the remainder, proceeded 
to attack Newport ; but the garrison — who, in comfortable 
quarters, had not suffered from the gale, and were protected by 
strong intrenchments — equalled in numbers his own troops, 
and had, besides, a powerful naval force to protect them; 
while D'Estaing declined to return. Upon consultation, and 
after taking the written opinions of his general officers, ad- 
vising his withdrawal from the island, he retired to Butt's 
Hill in good order, thence repulsing the British, who had 
followed ; and, on the following night, recrossed to Tiverton, 
without molestation or loss. The next day, Clinton arrived 
from New York with a re-enforcement to the garrison of four 
thousand strong. 

If disappointed, the failure of his expedition was from no 
fault of Sullivan. In the estimation of the unreflecting, who 
possess no other criterion of merit than success, he may be 
censured for not effecting impossibilities. Washington him- 
self, judged by the same standard, came near falling a victim 
to unreasonable prejudice. 

Greene, always the steadfast friend of both Washington 
and Sullivan, on the 11th of September, 1778, wrote, " I have 
seen as much service almost as any man in the American 
army, and have been in as many, if not more, engagements 
than any one. I know the character of all our general offi- 

* When, after the storm and naval engagement, the French Admiral declined to 
return, Sullivan, in general orders, to counteract discouragement in his army from this 
disappointment, expressed his confidence that they would effect their object without co- 
operation; but not a word was used from which any sensible person, however sus- 
ceptible, could have taken umbrage. Apprehension that the expressions used might 
prejudice the cause, led to subsequent explanations; but no man of common sense 
can find fault with them now that they are divested of all power to harm. 


cers; and, if I am any judge, the expedition has been pru- 
dently and well conducted. I am confident there is not a 
general officer, from the commander-in-chief to the youngest 
in the field, who could have gone greater lengths to have given 
success to the expedition than General Sullivan. He is sen- 
sible, active, ambitious, brave, and persevering in his temper ; 
and the object was sufficiently important to make him despise 
every difficulty opposed to his success, as far as he was at 
liberty to consult his reputation : but the public good is of 
more importance than personal glory, and the one is not to be 
gratified at the expense of the other." On the 17th of Sep- 
tember, Congress resolved that the retreat was prudent, timely, 
and well conducted ; and that their thanks be given to Gen- 
eral Sullivan, and to the officers and troops under his com- 
mand, for their fortitude and bravery displayed in the action 
of Aug. 29th, in which they repulsed the British forces, and 
maintained the field. 

In 1779, Sullivan commanded an expedition against the 
Six Nations, whose massacres and depredations at Wyoming, 
Cherry Valley, and along the frontier settlements, called for 
repression and reprisals. In carrying out his orders, which 
Mr. Sparks has only partially printed, he laid waste forty of 
their villages. The ulterior object was the invasion of Canada 
by the way of Niagara, and Sullivan requested from the Board 
of War the supplies he deemed necessary to accomplish it; 
but, secrecy being essential to success, they were not forth- 
coming, and what was provided was nearly exhausted while 
they still remained in the Indian country.* 

* It was remarked by a cotemporary writer, that " the instructions given by Gen- 
eral Sullivan to his officers, the order of march he prescribed to his troops, and the dis- 
cipline he had the ability to maintain, would have done honor to the most experienced 
ancient or modern generals." This is cited as an offset to the slur of Mr. Bancroft, 
who certainly is no better judge of military character: indeed, his descriptions of 
military movements indicate a want of attention to a science indispensable to the his- 
torian. The instructions, still extant, of Sullivan, to officers acting under him in the 
command of expeditions, are minute and sensible, and fully prove the injustice of the 



Gordon, who seems to be the favorite authority of Bancroft, 
exhibits, throughout his work, a carping spirit against nearly- 
all the officers, and a prejudice against Sullivan, easily ex- 
plained, which ought not, in any candid mind, to operate to 
his discredit. The book was published in England for a pub- 
lic prejudiced against America. Moreover, in the contro- 
versy in Massachusetts for the removal of Temple, he had 
been the opponent of James Sullivan, the brother of the 

His health broken down by incessant exposures and hard- 
ships, General Sullivan sent in his resignation to Congress, 
who voted him their thanks for his services. 

He had borne the brunt of the war for five years. He had 
endeavored zealously to do his duty. His courage, fidelity, 
activity, had never been questioned. His success had 
equalled that of Washington or Greene, — either of whom, 
judged by their battles gained, would not have any brighter 
record to show than himself. Monmouth was more a drawn 
battle than a victory, and its dispositions were out of the con. 
trol of the commander-in-chief. By his celerity of movement, 
and his judicious combinations, Washington, aided by the 
French, having " bottled " up Cornwallis in the peninsula, con- 
quered at Yorktown ; and this, as Saratoga, was a decisive 
battle. But neither Lee at Fort Moultrie, Gates at Saratoga, 
nor Washington at Yorktown, won more substantial laurels 
than the latter general in his defeats at Brandywine and 

Sullivan's generalship, as that of most other military leaders, 
has been subjected to criticism ; but, if judged without 
prejudice, and by the circumstances and standards of the 
times, it will not suffer by comparison with that of the other 
leaders. He certainly made as great sacrifices as any of them. 

harsh and unfounded judgment passed upon him by a civilian, confirm the favorable 
opinion entertained of his military aptitudes and qualifications by Washington, Greene, 
and those who had the best opportunity of knowing them. 


He expended his private fortune. Fourteen hundred dollars, 
advanced by him for the public service in 1776, was only re- 
paid in 1784; and his pay, in depreciated currency, fell far 
short of the unavoidable expenses of a general officer. 
Greene, the noblest of the generals, if we except Washing- 
ton, was always his firm friend ; and he also stood high in the 
estimation of the commander-in-chief. If he made enemies 
by his freedom of expression and impulsive temper, these 
secured him the affectionate respect of those whose respect 
was best worth having. Gates and St. Clair and Parsons 
strove to lessen his influence. Traces of their jealousy or 
dislike may be found in the correspondence and newspapers 
of the period, and used by the ill-natured to discredit him ; 
but if sifted, and allowance made for the motives that 
prompted them, they will be found entitled to no weight. 

In taking leave of Washington as his military commander, 
he alludes as follows to the combination that had long per- 
severingly endeavored to ruin and supplant them both. He 
says, " Permit me to inform your Excellency, that the faction 
raised against you in 17^7, into which General Conway was 
unfortunately and imprudently drawn, is not yet destroyed. 
The members are waiting to collect strength, and seize some 
favorable moment to appear in force. I speak not from con- 
jecture, but from certain knowledge. Their plan is to take 
every method of proving the danger arising from a commander 
who enjoys the full and unlimited confidence of his army, and 
alarm the people with the prospect of imaginary evils ; nay, 
they will endeavor to convert your virtues into arrows, with 
which they will seek to wound you." 

Washington, on the 15th of December, 1779, wrote in 
reply : — 

My Dear Sir, — I had the pleasure of receiving, a few days since, by 
Captain Barin, your letter of the l r3t instant. I assure you I am sensibly 
touched by so striking an instance of your friendship, at a time and in a 


manner that demonstrates its sincerity, and confirms the opinion I have 
always entertained of your sentiments towards me. I wish you to be- 
lieve, that your uneasiness on the score you mention had never the least 
foundation. A slender acquaintance with the world must convince 
every man, that deeds, not words, are the true criterion of the attach- 
ment of his friends ; and that the most liberal professions of goodwill 
are far from being the surest marks of it. I should be happy if my 
own experience had afforded fewer examples of the little depend- 
ence to be placed upon them. I am particularly indebted to you for 
the interesting information you give me of the views of a certain party. 
Xgainst intriguing of this kind, incident to every man in a public 
station, his best support will be a faithful discharge of his duty, and he 
must rely on the justice of his country for the event. 

It is unnecessary for me to repeat to you how high a place you 
hold in my esteem. The confidence you have experienced, and the 
manner in which you have been employed on several important occa- 
sions, testify the value I set upon your military qualifications, and the 
regret I must feel that circumstances have deprived the army of your 

In 1780, he was again a member of the Congress ; and in 
committee, on the Vermont grants, the Pennsylvania mutiny, 
finance, and other subjects, lie was zealous and useful. On 
his return home, he was created Attorney-general of New 
Hampshire, — an office held by himself and his gifted son and 
grandson for nearly half a century. 

He took part in the labors of the Convention of 1783, 
which formed the constitution of his State ; and he was thrice 
elected its chief magistrate. By his energy, he suppressed 
the insurrection of 1786; and as President of the Conven- 
tion, by his influence and eloquent arguments, he induced the 
ratification, by that State, — which, as the ninth, secured its 
adoption, — of the Federal Constitution. He had the plea- 
sure, as Governor, of extending to President Washington the 
hospitalities of New Hampshire ; and, appointed by him its 
Federal Judge, he died in 1795, in that office. 

In the discharge of his executive duties, he was indefati- 
gable in promoting every interest of the State, organizing its 


militia, and encouraging, by example as well as by persuasion, 
its manufacturing and agricultural industry. His writings, 
clear, vigorous, and sensible, exhibit a thorough knowledge 
of political science ; and, collected, would prove a valuable 
accession to the literature of the period. His manners 
were easy and dignified, his address engaging and his 
disposition exceedingly amiable. He was a warm friend, 
generous and hospitable ; and his character and public ser- 
vices would seem to entitle his memory to respect and 

These have not been accorded to him by the writer from 
whose judgment we appeal. It is for the public, now and 
hereafter, to decide if that judgment be correct. It is our 
duty, who cherish his memory, — descendants, kindred, 
friends of free institutions, the State he so long and faith- 
fully served, the American people, — to take heed that every 
fact, circumstance, motive, be considered before he is unjustly 

The specifications are : First, Want of discretion in sub- 
mitting to Congress propositions of reconciliation from Lord 
Howe. Second, An injudicious descent on Staten Island, 
Aug. 21, 1777. Third, Transmitting intelligence to Wash- 
ington which was subsequently found to be incorrect ; dis- 
obedience of orders ; and marching his troops to the right of 
Stirling, at Brandywine, Sept. 11, 1777. Fourth, Wasting 
powder at Germantown, Oct. 4, 1777. Fifth, Recommending 
Conway as inspector-general. Sixth, Keeping on terms of 
courtesy with Gates. 

I. That General Sullivan should have gladly embraced the 
proposal of Howe, to go to Philadelphia, where he could 
best effect his exchange for Prescott, was far from being an 
indiscretion. It certainly would have been the height of in- 
discretion to have refused to communicate Howe's friendly 
dispositions, in such form as he inclined to make them, — not 
certainly again in writing, as they had already been so re- 


ceived; and it was for Congress to determine what notice 
to take of them. 

After such a defeat as that of Long Island, to gain time by 
negotiation, to recover strength for more effectual resistance, 
was the part of prudence ; and prejudice must travel far to 
find, in the course pursued by Sullivan, any ground for cen- 

II. Marshall says, the descent on Staten Island was well 
planned and conducted, although boats enough were not se- 
cured to warrant the attempt. Gordon shows there were 
boats enough ; but the persons in charge were frightened off 
from the landing, by seeing the eighty prisoners captured 
by Ogden, in their red uniforms, on a vessel he had seized. 

Smallwood was to have placed a regiment at the Cross- 
roads, to have intercepted, at the Neck, fugitives from the 
Provincial regiments routed by Ogden, while on their way to 
give the alarm to the regulars; but, as Marshall tells us, he 
was misconducted by his guides. Accidents are apt to attend 
such attacks by night, and should not be attributed, as faults, 
to any one. 

Ogden says, if Congress had not been imposed upon by 
misrepresentation, no court of inquiry would have been 
ordered, and its decree exonerated Sullivan from all re- 
proach : if the public are not imposed upon by misrepresen- 
tations, they will also confirm the decree. Bancroft, while 
censuring, takes no notice of the reasons why the expedition 
proved less successful than anticipated. As to any conse- 
quent delay in joining Washington, this is absurd. The 
British fleet was reported in the Chesapeake on the 21st, and 
Sullivan had returned from the island on the 22d. 

III. The transmission, at Brandywine, of the intelligence 
of Major Spear, Washington said was the duty of Sullivan. 

As to disobedience of orders, had Washington seen fit to 
persist in his plan, orders to cross the Brandywine would 
have reached Sullivan in fifteen minutes ; yet from one to 


two hours elapsed before Cornwallis was heard of, on the left 

As to marching too far to the left, instead of going to the 
right of Lord Stirling, any person familiar with the localities 
and relative position of the armies, — any tyro in military 
science, — knows, that, instead of marching too far to the left, 
he was actually nf&rching from the left; that, when headed 
off by the British, he was not far enough to the right to con- 
nect with the divisions of Stephen and Stirling ; and there is 
no evidence his division ever endeavored to march to their 

Muhlenberg (p. 92), which has often been quoted, goes to 
show that Be Borre raised some question as to his position on 
the right, but not Sullivan; and neither De Chastelleux nor 
any other authority, certainly not any that are cited; sustains 
the statement, that " Sullivan undertook to march his division 
from half a mile beyond the left, to his proper place on the 

Sullivan's own letter is full and extremely clear as to what, 
he did. It is the best evidence ; and the natural impression 
left by it on any mind unprejudiced is, that we were fortunate 
in possessing generals as efficient as himself, in our Kevolu- 
tionary armies. It certainly is unnecessary to disparage 
them, — to find a reason why twelve thousand British veterans 
triumphed, after nearly two hours' hard fighting, over four 
thousand American continentals and militiamen. 

TV. As to powder wasted at Germantown, this is stated by 
Bancroft as a reflection on Sullivan. The only ground on 
which he makes the statement is, that an inexperienced col- 
onel in his wing of the army, in the obscurity of the morn- 
ing, did not check his men when firing oftener than was 
worth while, as it chanced. This is matter of opinion. It was 
not certainly the fault of Sullivan, who had no means of 
knowing, in the darkness, what any particular regiment had 
in its front. 


The loss of the battle is generally ascribed to the loss of 
time at the Chew House, from Washington preferring the 
advice of Knox, not to leave a castle in his rear, to that of 
Pulaski, who cited the case of an Italian army returning 
from victory to capture a similar post. Washington no more 
than Sullivan was infallible : both were liable to mistake ; 
both in their day were, and have been tince, bitterly cen- 
sured. John Adams said Washington was no general ; but 
this does not lessen our own faith that he was first as well 
in war as in peace, and in the hearts of his countrymen ; nor 
should the views of a writer aiming rather at flippancy than 
conscientious exactness, be entertained to the prejudice of 

V. No one who studies the career of Conway, and realizes 
how sensitively he must have felt the low estimate Washing- 
ton formed of his military qualifications, as communicated to 
Congress, can be surprised at his favoring Gates, whose army 
at Saratoga had achieved the great success of the war, 
rather than Washington, who, with the exception of Trenton 
and Princeton, had met only with disaster. Sullivan had had 
occasion to think well of him ; and Congress, by giving the 
appointment, appear to have agreed with him. 

VI. As to Sullivan siding with Gates to supplant Wash- 
ington, as Bancroft would convey by an innuendo, this is 
sufficiently disproved by other correspondence, as well as 
the last letter quoted.* 

This brief narrative of his career has appeared to us the 
best mode of refuting these charges. An extended biogra- 
phy, embracing documents at length, would require time for 
preparation. But abundant evidence has been adduced to 
satisfy intelligent minds, that they are without foundation, 
either in fact or reasonable inference. It also compels the 

* Washington's letter to Sullivan, dated Dec. 15, 1779, here referred to, may be 
seen on page 175, ante. 


conviction, that the writer, in making such unscrupulous 
statements on the testimony, betrays a prejudice and want of 
fidelity to historic truth, that proves him to be far less quali- 
fied for his task as an historian of the Revolution, than he 
would have us believe some of its most honored generals 
were for the command of its armies. 

The character and conduct of all historical personages are 
fair subjects for scrutiny. Neither the descendants nor the 
friends of General Sullivan can desire he should be exempt 
from that ordeal which whoever engages in public affairs 
accepts. They have no reason to apprehend, that a thorough 
study of his life and correspondence, of his civil and military 
career, will otherwise than redound to his glory and honor. 

Descendants may well be incensed when a writer, swayed 
by temper, prejudice, or caprice, is unfaithful to the authori- 
ties he quotes, in order to create an unfavorable opinion of 
their progenitor. No one can compare the text of the book 
to which we take exceptions, with the best evidence left of 
the facts which the author professes to relate, without being 
astonished at the unscrupulous disregard for truth which its 
author displays when he would gain credit to himself, or cir- 
culation for his volumes, by discrediting others. 

From early manhood, for thirty years, Sullivan was con- 
stantly in the public service. He shared the friendship and 
esteem of Washington, Greene, Jefferson, the Lees, and the 
best men of his day. He was repeatedly elevated by 
his own State to the highest places of trust and confi- 
dence. During the war, whenever censured from tempo- 
rary misapprehension, he was invariably applauded when the 
truth was ascertained. He risked life, lost health, sacrificed 
a considerable portion of his fortune, in establishing the 
liberty of his country. He considered neither hardships nor 
privations of any consequence, in her service. If he had 
little experience of military movements, this was true also of 

Washington, and of nearly all our Revolutionary commanders. 



He ever acted under a deep sense of responsibility to pro- 
mote the cause for which, if unsuccessful, in common with 
other more conspicuous personages, he was likely to be se- 
lected for the pains and penalties of treason. It does seem 
a sorry requital for public services of such a nature, to be 
at the mercy of every unscrupulous writer who chooses to 

Lights and shades may add to the interest of a narra- 
tive ; but character, and the susceptibilities of descendants, 
are too sacred to be sported with for the entertainment or 
instruction of readers. What wealth or personal endowment, 
what social distinction or laurels, literary or political, are 
more precious to possess than the privilege of having sprung 
from such a character as General Greene, or from Washing- 
ton, had he left posterity? Not for any vainglory or conse- 
quence in the sight of other men, but from a natural pride 
implanted in every generous bosom. Honorable public ser- 
vice, self-sacrifice for national objects, transmit to those that 
come after a share in their rewards, and shed a lustre on suc- 
ceeding generations. Under monarchical forms, this, carried 
to excess, might foster hereditary exclusiveness, or build up a 
privileged class ; but there is no such tendency under free in- 
stitutions. There is little danger anywhere, that the grand 
qualities and noble traits which history delights to honor can 
be too highly estimated, too much extolled or respected, 
either in their original brightness or their reflected splendors. 

It seems difficult to credit the sincerity of one who wan- 
tonly wounds the sensitiveness of whole families, in order to 
create for himself the reputation of candor, or seeks his own 
advantage at such a cost. Heath, Putnam, Wayne, Schuyler, 
Greene, certainly had done enough good service in the cause 
of American independence to save their memories from sacri- 
legious sneers, or reflections on their sense or courage. 
Reed had committed no act, expressed no opinion, that could 
warrant a charge little short of treachery. If untiring and 


steadfast devotion to the noblest cause ever contended for; 
if sacrifice of home, health, and fortune must only expose 
those who come after, and whose happiness by the sacred 
relations of nature is as dear as one's own, to harsh epithets 
and cruel aspersions, — there probably will be still the same 
noble self-immolation on national altars : but what a discour- 
agement, what a sorry requital ! 

Success is a low criterion of merit or character. To strug- 
gle with adversity, to contend against odds, to be persever- 
ing notwithstanding discouragement, to have one's good evil 
spoken of, to be maligned and misrepresented, and yet pre- 
serve an amiable temper, an imperturbable spirit, a steadfast 
determination in the discharge of duty, characterized Wash- 
ington, Sullivan, and many other of the patriots. Their 
difficulties, disappointments, or reverses afford more valuable 
lessons for example and emulation, and far better deserve our 
respect, than glory or triumph. The times that tried men's 
souls on the banks of the Delaware in 1776, and at Valley 
Forge in the winter of 1778, are more worthy of admiration 
than Saratoga, Monmouth, or Yorktown. He is neither gen- 
erous nor patriotic who describes our great heroic epoch in a 
spirit of detraction or cynicism. Nor is it truth or honor to 
stigmatize or applaud for the sake of lights or shades which 
may attract or amuse. A writer of history has no peculiar 
privilege to dishonor the dead, nor can he with impunity 
wound the sensibilities of the living. 

But we are led to ask who is the man who so boldly 
judges ; and whether, should his memory survive his con- 
temporaries, he is willing to have the same measure meted 
to him that he has thus cruelly and unjustly accorded to 
some of the noblest characters of the Revolution. We trust, 
if his ruling motive be other than the love of truth, that 
his misrepresentations will work no permanent prejudice to 
their fame, either as generals or statesmen. 

It is unfortunate for the cause of truth, that a writer, 


whose works circulate where no vindication can follow 
thein, should make such unworthy use of his position, in a 
measure beyond the reach of responsibility, to tarnish repu- 
tations which are amongst the most precious heir-looms of the 
American people. Our generals may not have been accom- 
plished officers, they had few opportunities of learning the 
profession of arms, they made occasional mistakes; so did 
Cassar and Wellington: but they patiently sacrificed fortune, 
health, life, in the cause of our national independence ; and it 
seems a sacrilege, in these degenerate days, to pass harsh 
judgment upon their services, or deprive them of their well- 
earned laurels. 


A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day, Thursday, January 10th, at eleven o'clock, 
a.m. ; the President, the Hon. Eobert C. Winthrop, in 
the chair. 

The Librarian announced donations from the Ameri- 
can Antiquarian Society ; the Royal University of Nor- 
way ; the Trustees of Oberlin College ; the Editors of 
the "Advocate"; the Proprietors of the Savannah "Daily 
Republican"; John Appleton, M.D. ; Rev. Richard B. 
Duane ; George W. Greene, Esq. ; Albert D. Hager, 
Esq. ; Benjamin P. Johnson, Esq. ; George H. Moore, 
Esq. ; Joel Munsell, Esq. ; Messrs. Newman and Sco- 
vill ; M. C. Richardson, Esq. ; David T. Valentine, Esq. ; 
Hon. Henry Wilson ; and from Messrs. E. Ames, Bemis, 

1867.] JANUARY MEETING. 437 

W. G. Brooks, Chandler, Deane, Ellis, Green, C. Rob- 
bins, Saltonstall (sixty-seven volumes), and Winthrop, of 
the Society. 

The Corresponding Secretary read letters of accept- 
ance from General John Meredith Read, jun., of Albany ; 
and from Mr. Henry G. Denny, of Dorchester. 

A letter from C. C. Haven, Esq., of Trenton, N.J., 
was read, asking the Society's acceptance of a bound 
pamphlet of seventy-two pages, entitled " Thirty Days in 
Xew Jersey, ninety years ago," written by himself, for 
which due acknowledgments were voted. 

The President called the attention of members to a 
number of volumes (sixty-seven in all) lying upon the 
table, — a gift from our associate, Mr. Saltonstall, of 
books which formerly belonged to the library of his 
father, the Hon. Leverett Saltonstall. 

Voted, That the thanks of the Society be presented to 
Mr. Saltonstall for this valuable gift to the library. 

The President communicated, from Count Adolphe de 
Circourt, of Paris, a pamphlet of forty-six pages, — con- 
taining an article, written by the latter for the " Revue 
Brittanique," on " Les Origines de la Republique des 
Etats-Unis, " — being a review of the "Life and Letters 
of John Winthrop," vol. i., 1864, by Robert C. Win- 
throp ; and " The History of New England," by John 
Winthrop, edited by James Savage, 1853. 

The President presented to the Society an old manu- 
script quarto volume, in the handwriting of President 
Dunster, of Harvard College, and formerly the property 
of Dr. Belknap. It was presented to Mr. Winthrop by 
Miss Elizabeth Belknap, 26th February, 1858. The 


volume contains many papers of historical interest, one 
of which, relating to the " Christian experience " of the 
elder Governor Winthrop, the President had published 
in the " Life and Letters of John Winthrop," in 1864. 
The volume was referred to the Publishing Committee. 

The President said, that he had received a communi- 
cation from our distinguished Honorary Member, Mr. 
George Peabody, which he was sure would be listened 
to with high gratification, and with deep gratitude, by 
every member present. He then proceeded to read the 
following letter : — 

Boston, January 1, 1867. 
To the Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, 
President of the Massachusetts Historical Society. 

My dear Sir, — I have for some time desired to gratify a wish 
which I once expressed to you ; and, while I should at the same time 
mark my strong personal esteem and regard for yourself, and my 
appreciation of the past labors and researches of the venerable and 
distinguished Society of which you are President,. to contribute, in 
some degree, to extend its future usefulness, and preserve its valued 

With these objects in view, therefore, I beg to present, through you, 
to the Massachusetts Historical Society, the sum of twenty thousand 
dollars, in the five per cent. ^$ coupon bonds of the United States, 
bearing accrued interest from the first of September last ; which bonds, 
or their proceeds, shall be held by them as a permanent trust-fund, of 
which the income shall be appropriated to the publication and illustra- 
tion of their Proceedings and Memoirs, and to the preservation of 
their Historical Portraits. 

I will thank you to do me the favor to communicate this to the 
Society at their next meeting, to be held on the 10th inst. 

I am, with great respect, your humble servant, 

George Peabody. 

Dr. Ellis then offered the following Resolutions : — 

Resolved, That the members of the Massachusetts Historical So- 
ciety have listened with profound gratification to the reading, by their 


President, of the letter of Mr. George Peabody accompanying his 
gift to the Society of twenty thousand dollars ; and that it is 
with the sincerest gratitude to the munificent donor, that we thus find 
ourselves sharers in the comprehensive generosity which has been 
exercised in England and in the United States, with such varied, 
discriminating, and admirable adaptation to so many noble interests of 
humanity, science, and liberal culture. 

Resolved, That we recognize this noble gift as especially opportune 
in time and occasion ; and as peculiarly adapted, in the purposes which 
its donor assigns for it, to what have recently been felt to be the most 
pressing wants of the Society. We therefore hereby pledge our- 
selves, and would bind our successors, to a faithful keeping and im- 
provement of the fund, to be called, henceforward, "The Peabody 
Fund," of which we are thus put in possession; having regard alike 
to the conditions so intelligently set forth by Mr. Peabody, and to the 
importance of the special objects he has aimed to serve. 

Resolved, That our best appreciation of this gift, and the most 
fitting return which we can make to its donor, will be in our finding 
in it, individually and as a Society, a new and continued incentive to 
industry, earnestness, and fidelity in pursuing the investigations and 
labors for which we are here associated. 

Resolved, That the President be requested to communicate to Mr. 
Peabody a copy of these resolutions ; and to assure him that his gift is 
gratefully received, and shall be faithfully used. 

Dr. Ellis then spoke as follows : — 

While we are content to repeat much the same familiar 
words and forms of speech, in asking for favors, we often 
wish that we had new and fresh terms for acknowledging 
them. We should be glad to have a more ample range, and 
a fuller variety of expressions of recognition and gratitude. 
We feel that we might then adapt our acknowledgments of 
obligation for a favor received to the special occasion, to the 
opportuneness, and to the present and prospective value of 
the benefit conferred, and thus avoid the generalities and 
commonplaces of thankful acknowledgment. 

So at least I felt, Mr. President, when, at your request, I 
set myself to draw up the formal resolutions of gratitude to 


our new benefactor, that should at the same time convey a 
personal tribute which we might hope would be acceptable 
to him, and express our high estimate of the opportune- 
ness and value of his gift. There is something about the 
personality and the individuality of that honored and munifi- 
cent man, something in the nature and method of his wide 
liberality, something in the concise forms and in the dignified 
simplicity of the writings which accompany his trust-funds, 
defining their conditions and uses, — there is something in the 
style in which he thus confers great favors, which would 
naturally prompt the recipients of them to make a careful 
choice of their words of thankfulness and appreciation. For, 
if of any one benefactor of his own and of coming gener- 
ations a wide notoriety for the multiplicity and variety and 
amount of his gifts might prompt a reiteration of the same 
epithets and praises, it will be difficult for writers in news- 
papers, and drawers-up of resolutions, to vary their eulogiums 
of him who now stands before the world as the example of a 
more than princely munificence, distributed in his native and 
in his adopted country to the most wisely chosen and the best 
discriminated objects. We can well imagine that all fulsome 
and extravagant terms would fail to find in him the weak spot 
of vanity or susceptibility , while still his modesty is conjoined 
with so true a discernment, and so practical a good sense, 
that he will not be indifferent to the fitness of the responses 
made to him by those whom he favors. He will expect to 
be assured of their purposes of fidelity in holding and using 
the trust-funds which he commits to them. Indeed, it has 
seemed to me, that the more ambitious of our rising young 
business men who are eager for great acquisitions, may find 
Mr. Peabody betraying to them, in some sort, the secret of 
the method of his vast gathering of wealth in the method of 
his distribution of it. Those accumulations of his, we know, 
with whatever felicities of good fortune he had to help him, 
must have engaged the patient, steady, and persistent exer- 


cise of an inquisitive and discreet mind, given to practical 
dealing with the complicated affairs of business. He devotes 
much careful thought and scrutiny to informing himself about 
the enterprises and institutions to be benefited by his gener- 
osity. Putting himself into relations of confidence with their 
official representatives, he learns their actual purposes and 
wants. The impulse or the aid, which he gives to any ob- 
ject that commends itself to him, is accompanied, in its an- 
nouncement or direction, by some sagacious counsel, readily 
inferred if not distinctly expressed. I suppose, Mr. Presi- 
dent, though you have been silent on the point, that we are 
at liberty to imagine some friendly offices of your own in 
behalf of the Society, through your confidential relations with 
Mr. Peabody. He has certainly become well acquainted with 
our wants, and has met them when and where we have most 
sensibly felt them. 

How valuable to us is bis gift, how adapted to our special 
objects, and how timely it is, most of us know very well ; but 
some of us who have labor in hand for the Society, arrested 
in its progress by the state of our treasury, have occasion, 
as our circumstances were till to-day, to regard this special 
benefaction as carrying us happily over a critical moment. 

This is the third occasion, during the last dozen years, on 
which the Society, at its monthly meetings here, has found a 
grateful variety, even in the most agreeable routine of its 
business, in listening to the announcement of great favors 
conferred upon it. In December, 1854, the Treasurer read 
to us a communication from the Trustees acting under the 
will of the late honored and exemplary Samuel Appleton, one 
of Boston's foremost merchants, conveying to us the sum of 
ten thousand dollars, in trust, for a specified purpose, — "the 
procuring, preservation, preparation, and publication of his- 
torical papers." The volumes of our Collections, since pub- 
lished, bear upon their titlepages the best token of the value 
of that gift. 



At a special meeting of the Society, August 5th, 1856, 
we had our first intimation of the intentions of the late Mr. 
Thomas Dowse, of Cambridge, to make us the inheritors of 
that most precious portion of the wealth he was about to leave 
behind him, — his costly and unique library. At our annual 
meeting, April 9th, 1857, after transacting our formal business 
in the outer rooms, with a quickened expectation of what was 
to follow, we were ushered, with due ceremonial, into this 
elegant apartment, thenceforward to be known as the Dowse 
Library, renewing our gratitude and pleasure as we enter it 
and sit in it each month of every year. Here we found 
what we now behold; and were informed that the expenses 
of transporting the rich contents of the shelves and the cases 
themselves, and all the furnishings and adornments of the 
room, were a gratuity to us from the estate of that remark- 
able man, who felt such pride and joy in gathering, arraying, 
and reading these books. Nor was even this all. It was 
announced to us, that his executors, in the exercise of the 
discretion to which he had committed a residuum of his 
estate, had even endowed an endowment, by giving to us 
a fund of ten thousand dollars for its support. Who of us 
that was present on that delightful occasion will not always 
associate with the memory of it the modest utterance, and 
the calmly controlled but full satisfaction, of our late beloved 
associate, — an example for our emulation in so many graces 
and virtues, — Mr. George Livermore, to whose relation with 
Mr. Dowse we are indebted, if not for the prompting, at least 
for the encouragement of the purpose which resulted in such 
gain to us. 

Still, up to this very day, we were straitened and embar- 
rassed by a lean treasury, and by the lack of such investments 
and resources as we could look to, year by year, for any thing 
more than our necessary economical expenses. In the midst 
of our luxuries, our wants were of the homeliest sort. So 
the word " opportune " applies, with the utmost appropriate- 


ness, to the gift of gold-bearing bonds which Mr. Peabody 
has already transferred from his banker to the keeping of 
our Treasurer. The Standing Committee were literally at a 
stand; and have been so, in a position which is exceed- 
ingly uncomfortable when long held, with some of their best 
intentions arrested for want of money. The materials for a 
large part of another volume of our " Proceedings," with inci- 
dental matters of interest, have been ready for the press for 
several months ; while the enhanced cost of printing has 
aggravated our deficiency of means. The memoir of our late 
senior member, the venerable Mr. Quincy, from the pen of 
Dr. Walker, which has been in our hands nearly a year, and 
from which we expect so rare and full a pleasure, considering 
its subject and